Patrícia Garrido: Jogo de Damas (1995)
Patrícia Garrido: Jogo de Damas (1995)

Bar Gallery

entry: General Conditions

Jogo de Damas

Patrícia Garrido

Curatorship: Pedro Lapa


Patricia Garrido is a young sculptress who has come to the forefront in the 90's, although her first exhibitions were held at the end of the 80's. In these, where visceral interiority and basic instincts such as gluttony and sexuality were themes, a problematic centred on the body was already recognizable. More recent exhibitions such as "Jogos de Cama" (a play on words – "Matching Bed Linen" or “Bed Games"), or "0 Prazer é Todo Meu" ("The Pleasure is All Mine"), have developed the theme of sexuality, at one moment implicit in a metonymical situation, at another suggested as a metaphor for an intensity. At the same time new sculptural supports, such as, in the former – the ready-made, redefine her language within a vaguely appropriationist scheme, characteristic of her generation.

The "Jogo de Damas" ("Draughts") series appropriates objects in everyday use and manipulates them through a specific grammar. They are distinguished, overall, from the ready-made dadaist by the pertinacity and effect of elements such as colour and the pleating of some rubber suggesting interior organs with female sexual connotations. Her art, already displayed in traditional painting and sculpture, now experiments with the object allowing reiteration of the previously assumed abjectionist dimension which, in this context, subverts the collection of the Museu do Chiado, the point of reference for these works.

The twelve sculptures on display each have a vague narrative theme punctuated by nonsens which is further highlighted by giving each one the title of a piece on show in the museum. An ambiguous game insinuated in the absurd literalism with which these titles are interpreted, as for example in "Auto-retrato (com Caracois)", “Self-portrait (with Curls)" – for the Portuguese word for curls, caracois, also means snails – which leads to the shells of live snails each being painted with a letter of the artist's name. Alternatively the work which gives its name to the exhibition "Jogo de Damas" ("Draughts"), which, after taking a detail of a painting in the museum shifts from the traditional game of draughts to a symbolic or intimate representation in the literal sense of the words which is "Ladies’ Game". The literalism as well as the object appropriated become the hinge of an immediately absurd statement that folds back into another, indirectly intimate, which the voyeurism of the observer glimpses inside a box. The meaning moves from the laughable into an obscure domain which is often, as in "Malmequer" (“Daisy") or "Meninas" ("Girls"), replaced by a suggestion of organic orifice which calls for a new interiority in a game of mixing signs one into the other as pure incongruity, with "Interior" as one of the most radical examples. The sententious aspect of these sculptures, reinforced by the superimposition of the title on the visual field only serves to heighten this incongruity. The organic thus becomes untenable language whilst territorialized meaning and ductility calls for sexualized games, "Adão e Eva" ("Adam and Eve"), where meaning slips into intense relationships which link the components of the pieces and the voyeurism of the observers. "So what are you complaining about?"