Echoes of Nature – Manuela Marques
Manuela Marques’s career is one of the most singular and international of Portuguese photography. For the first time, she will present in Portugal an exhibition that brings together several of her photographic and videographic works, produced between 2018 and 2022, as part of a triptych that has included previous presentations at MuMa, (Musée d’art moderne André Malraux), Le Havre, and Centre d’art Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Brittany, France.
Echoes of Nature is characterised by observation and thinking about landscape and the natural environment in all its forms, establishing a dialogue between scientific, perceptual and aesthetic discourses. With a basis in continental and insular territories (France and Portugal, and the Azores archipelago, respectively), she has constructed a body of images that constitute an archaeological approach to the nature of the photographic image and a phenomenological digression on the artistic concept of landscape.
Possessing notable technique and aesthetic rigour, Manuela Marques deals with the experimental matter of photography in many of its dualities. Between a vibrant reality and a veristic idealism, a Cartesian conception of the world and a sublime, transcendental and romantic last gaze, and even the artistic mimesis of place and the imitation of nature by art.
The physical observation of nature and its phenomena is captured from a perspective of dialogue between natural operational processes and the constitution of the photographic image. The telluric dimension of nature is a driving force of many of these works, produced on the volcano of Capelinhos, on Faial Island, Azores, for example the series Topographies. Some of these images evoke the ‘mysteries’, lava formations that mark the earth and the spirit of its inhabitants; and observing them evokes a stupor, a silence imposed by the transcendence of vision, by its incommensurability, which is associated with another concept shared with the photographic image, that of revelation.
In the vast collection of images on display here, there is a perceptive and ontological exchange between natural and photographic phenomena, as suggested by the titles: Reflexão [Reflection], Réplica [Replica], Superfície Sensível [Sensitive Surface], and Extração [Extraction]. Thus, the matter of life also becomes an unexpected field of mediation between reality and its representation, challenging the territory of the photographic.
She has exhibited her photography and video work regularly in various institutions both in France and internationally. She recently presented solo exhibitions at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Le Cellier, Reims, France (2017); the Museum of Art and Archaeology of Aurillac, France, and the Coimbra Visual Arts Circuit, Portugal (2016); Château d’Eau, Toulouse, France; Centre Régional de la Photographie du Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Paris (2014).
In 2011, following an exhibition where she combined photography and video installation at the Museu Coleção Berardo, in Lisbon, she was awarded the BES Photo Prize. That same year, her work was presented at Estação Pinacoteca, in São Paulo. In 2019 she carried out exhibitions at the Lodève Museum (France), La-Roche-sur-Yon (France), Arquipélago Contemporary Arts Centre (Azores) and Centre D’Art-Domaine de Kerguéhennec (France).
She is represented in various public and private collections in Portugal and abroad.
Opening: 21 October 2022 – 7pm
Exhibition dates: 21 October 2022 – 29 January 2023
Multipurpose Room, Floor 1
Part of the programme of the 2022 Portugal-France season