Helena Almeida, Sans titre, 2010
Exhibition from march 18th to may 7th 2011
“Over the last forty years, Helena Almeida has developed a body of work, which started with the process of exploring the limits of painting, transforming ideas and experiences into images. She combined the photographic image with the drawn line and the paint mark in compositions that examined space and drew attention to the surface of the work.
The artist is always in front of the camera, although she does not consider her images to be self-portraits. Assuming positions and expressions carefully choreographed, Almeida describes her work as intimate performances staged just for the camera and for the sole photographer of her work, her husband.
In a work of 1980, the two meet for the first time on the finished image. In 2006, Helena Almeida is confronted once again with the entry of that strange body into her phenomenological space, creating conflicting spaces. Sometimes that entry was a violent one, others it corresponded to an embrace.
In her most recent series, the two bodies have clashed once again and are now tied together. It is the artist herself who straps their legs as one with a wire, and with it twigging them, they walk together back and forward. It is a dance of love and tension, of companionship but also of hostility, of courage and of pain, of life and death. It is, as the artist stated in the past “a search for the other, the other person that is there”.
Beyond the poetical and metaphorical readings these works may inspire, they are (as Almeida has created many times in the past) essays on the bluring of the mediums, this time photography, performance and sculpture. The bodies simultaneously become a sculptural shape and space, objects and subject, significant and significance.
Helena Almeida’s work, and particularly this series, is a condensed, strictly staged and extremely poetic act”.