In 2011, José Maçãs de Carvalho, in what Hal Foster defined as “archival impulse”, began a project of viewing and categorising every negative, some dating back to 1988. He took the concepts of “archive” and “memory” as premises for the new projects (exhibitions) that he develops thenceforth. Arquivo e Melancolia (Archive and Melancholy) is the fifth work of a series of exhibitions that has been held in Portugal by the artist. This creation retrieves a photograph taken by José Maçãs de Carvalho in Macao, in 1996. The image of a wall, belonging to a small boat repair company, built with thousands of pieces of ironwork. The artist's fascination with this urban feature resides in its poetic dimension as an archive/deposit and in 2011 he returns to the same place to create a video. The image on a static shot of the wall evokes the spectral nature of photography, where melancholy resides. The image of the moving figures is reduced to these volatile, almost immaterial beings, which appear and disappear in a fragmented time. The temporal discord between the image of the wall, which establishes an internal and continuous time that pre-exists the lm itself, and the human figures that follow one another, which affirm the external and fragmented time, is presented as a meeting of two levels of independent discourse, two linguistic layers archived in the same filmic record. This cognitive dissociation of two different times is highlighted by certain situations throughout the film. Arquivo e Melancolia is a work about the several expressions of time, finding form in the concept of the archive and, at times, creating space for states of mind such as melancholy and new perspectives of awareness. This artistic piece is structured along a subtle discourse that is binary and synesthetic, mirroring José Maçãs de Carvalho's research on the texture of time, its materialisation and the reverse. The result is an epistemological work that is poetic in itself.
José Maçãs de Carvalho, "Arquivo e Melancolia" (Archive and Melancholy), vídeo | video , HD, cor | color, som | sound, 26´35´´, 2016.
José Maçãs de Carvalho
Video and sound Editing
José Maçãs de Carvalho,
António Augusto Aguiar, Sofia Lourenço, Nuno Pinto, João Figueiredo, Sandra Morais, Ana Sofia Leão, André Santos, Hugo Peres.
Escola Superior Música, Artes e Espetáculo do Instituto Politécnico do Porto e
Colégio das Artes da Universidade de Coimbra.