ARCO Madrid

This presentation is comprised of a dialogue between the work of Marcelo Cidade and Rui Calçada Bastos.

The distinct practice of these two artists has common threads of communication that are both enriching and unifying. Their processes share similar realities, resulting in a symbiotic relationship that adds value to their work. Both of their explorations of the urban experience focus on what is public and private, collective and individual, underlining the transience of these two universes in a constant dialogue. Consequently, the artists delve into the continuous oscillating flow between the social and personal realms.

Rui Calçada Bastos and Marcelo Cidade focus and concentrate on urban landscapes, objects, shapes and situations that may at first be ignored. This natural ‘contamination’ in both their work results, quite naturally, in multidisciplinary pieces across their repertoires. Exploring themes with poetic and political approaches, they confront the spectator with a self-referential view, through which we can often find commonalities between both their bodies of work.

Through subversive and informal mediums, they question the ideals of modernist architecture and appropriate urban spaces. With the use of different aesthetic elements, they create new narratives and languages, constructing spaces that appear unexpected and surprising.

By comparing established social relationships and values, they both produce an “aesthetic of resistance”, conceiving works that express complex social conflicts and transport symbols and situations from the street into spaces dedicated to art. In this specific case, into the space of a fair booth, which acts as a “diffusing vehicle” conveying a specific line of thought and attitude.

The work presented emphasizes a cross-contamination between art and society that encompasses poetic expression and a dialogue about language, which in turn is also politically inspired by ideas of defiance and transgression. It is concentrated in one place in order to reach another, setting into motion a process that displaces historical and geographical realities towards more poetic interpretations.