Joana Escoval, ’Neither bounded nor static’, 2016, bois et aiguille d’acupuncture, 8 x 19 x 13 cm - courtesy l’artiste et Vera Cortês, Lisbonne
Lichens Never Lie is Joana Escoval’s first solo exhibition outside the Iberian Peninsula. Here the young Lisbon artist gives spare, fragile expression to the endless ephemerality of the living world and its host of mysterious meanings.
The product of minimal intervention on her part, Escoval’s works are most often assemblages of materials that are rudimentary – pieces of wood, copper rods, terracotta, etc. – and/or collected from the natural world: leaves, water, stones and sometimes whole trees.
Escoval is especially attentive to her venues and the visible and invisible currents running through them, which she sees as integral to what is being shown. Her La Criée exhibition is a response to both the setting and the airy summer light that pervades it.
Mostly comprising works being shown for the first time, Lichens Never Lie revolves around the notions of passage, transition and transmission: from one state to another, one belief or knowledge system to another, one culture to another, and so on.
Thus certain pieces – Keep Going and Our myth is not self evident because it is a mystery for example – indicate pathways that are possible but always open-ended, while others, like Rational or Irrational or Rational or, mark a tenuous, sometimes all but invisible threshold.
Still others investigate the boundaries between Nature and Culture, or between different cultures, the better to evoke their intertwining – or their effacement. In the case of Neither Bounded nor Static and Untitled (for André) it would be pointless to try to work out whether the non-human is being anthropomorphised or, on the contrary, the human is being "naturalised".
The exhibition title, discovered by the artist on a sign in a pharmacognosy and mycology lab at the University of Rennes 1, refers to an organism that is both algae and fungus, and acknowledges its capacity to act. This speaks eloquently of the porousness of things and beings, and of their representation as a core part of the artist’s work and concerns.
The things Joana Escoval makes are at once evocative enough to offer our ideas ready purchase and development and nebulous enough to let them roam free: open works for savage minds, one might say.
Curator : Sophie Kaplan
Production : La Criée centre of contemporary art
Partnership : Calouste Gulbenkian Fondation and Camões Mission – Institute for Cooperation and Language, Portugal
Friday 10 June 2016, 18:30 pm
Meeting with Joana Escoval
Saturday 11 June 2016, 3 pm
Descriptive and tactile visit (in french)
Thursday 23 June 2016, 17:30 pm
Crosspiece visit by Micro-sillons
Sunday 26 June 2016, from 2 pm to 7 pm
Joana Escoval, It arises not from any cause, but from the cooperation of many
Reading performed by Pedro Gomes
Friday 24 June 2016, 6:30 pm