Madragoa is pleased to present Homework #2, an exhibition featuring works by Rudi Brito, Axelle Camille, Rui Castanho, Simone Kennedy Doig, Maja Escher, Odete e Catarina Real.
Homework #2 originated from the conversations with the artists that participated in the previous exhibition of the series, Homework, presented at the gallery from May until July 2020. Each one of them suggested a series of artists names that the gallery should research. The final selection is therefore the result of a “word of mouth”, as well as of the interactions we had during this moment of research in the artist’s studios. The exhibition - that wants to be thematically free and allow for a free dialogue between the artworks - shows in the end a common thread between these very different artist's practices that seem to be all stemming from the exercise of drawing, whether this takes form on canvas, as an installation, or a sculpture.
Rudi Brito’s (b. 1988, Lisbon, Portugal) practice is strongly linked to ideas of dissociation, visitation and passage. These themes are expressed in different ways. Through painting he tries to situate the image in a point of ambiguity, where something is suggested but not fully uttered, keeping the representation suspended, thus inhabiting between doubt and certainty. During the process, he resorts to gestures of retreat, where the cloth replaces the brush and decisions are taken in negative, retreating from what was marked, creating a plane where hesitation has a voice.
Axelle Camille’s (b. 1994, Poissy, France) work focuses on researching the relationship between the visible and the invisible, the material and the immaterial. In this search, sensations, limitations, questions and transformations are manifested from practicability to the interaction with the object: of how it connects with the world.
Rui Castanho’s (b. 1986, Lisbon, Portugal) artistic practice is set free from any type of formula. This openness gives him the freedom to accept anything that catches his eye, unexpected things that come his way. Castanho’s paintings come mostly from drawings. Automatic drawings, drawings of things from everyday life, others with references to various eras, art in general, painting, illustration, cartoons, album covers, subcultures... images with which we are all familiar and others less so, which are then transformed into something else.
Simone Kennedy Doig (b. 1994, London, United Kingdom) spent her formative years in Trinidad. Its unique atmosphere and culture provided Kennedy Doig with endless inspiration, and a great deal of her work reflects this time and place. Her compositions tend to be figurative paintings of
contemporary life that are symbolically and psychologically suggestive. The characters in her paintings are often made up of her close friends and siblings who are shown engaged in quotidian activities. Aiming to find a vision in painting that while narrative and humorous, is also still ambiguous allowing the viewer the opportunity and space to question and interpret what they see in a way that will personally resonate with them.
Maja Escher’s (b. 1990, Santiago do Cacém, Portugal) works develop in a collective and hybrid dimension. Drawings, found objects, collaborative practices and fieldwork methods concur in the process of creating her site-specific installations and research-oriented projects. Clay, canes, rope, stones, vegetables and other elements found or offered to her during research fieldtrips are often combined with riddles, sayings and songs, creating a tension between spirituality and science, magic and technology. In her practice, Escher cultivates a deep observation of ecosystems and ancestral knowledge connected to the land and its primordial elements.
Odete’s (b. 1995, Porto, Portugal) work is an ongoing project; a world-building exercise which is co- extensive with her own life. This continuum starts from a research of how to "dissect" the expository, historical, scientific methods and paradigms of the West and reveal their artificial nature as techniques of production of "truth". Of a colonial and cis-patriarchal truth that erases and hides lives such as those of transgender, non-binary or intersex people.
Catarina Real’s (b. 1992, Barcelos, Portugal) work combines practice and theory, and is intrinsically related to collective, affective and collaborative projects, with a multidisciplinary focus. Practical and theoretical universes converge in her works, which are expressed in different forms, from drawing to dance. Aware that the artist works incisively on language, Real explores the possibilities of how we can live better together.