Drawing Room Lisboa 2023

Connecting Wires

Suppose an image. A path in the woods surrounded by tall trees, perhaps pine ones. A  very small figure walks further along it, almost disappearing. His arms are joined behind his torso, close to his lower back. His legs difused amidst the play of shadows caused by the irregular light beams coming through the high branches. The image that follows him is the same as the one before him. Over the spectre of his head, a straight line both reaches and leaves him, evading itself from the forest and its original two-dimensionality. In the same way, the sails of a boat connect to the tension of the wind that blows on them and makes the object move, or the gravitational line of a mountain climber is extended from the altitude at which he stands down to the ground from which he began his escalation.

Rui Calçada Bastos (Lisbon, 1971) proposes images that unfold beyond the image itself, drawings that materialise into pocket sculptures and conversations. Like amulets that are kept or shared as a gesture of protection and offering, they carry within them portals to alternative environments. In them, the apparently invisible movements of gravity and the soul seem to reveal themselves through the silver and brass drawings. Sometimes resembling iconographic images – where the possibility of the existence of mystical powers and fantastic breaches to other spaces is magnetised – Connecting Wires are travellers and travels in a spectral, layered time. Lonely characters seem absent from being observed, passengers of an horizontal hourglass. They wander and rest among hills, churches, caves and deserted locations, many of those referring to places where the tradition of legend and metaphysical transformation is no stranger to them.

The artist creates atmospheres of strangeness and enchantment, where different dimensions touch and expand – both formally and spiritually. Perhaps this plastic clairvoyance – of the line that gives body to the gesture, of the gesture that extends the body and of the body that transforms itself – is evidence of the indefinability of the works of memory perception. The postcard as the correspondence of a moment, the scale as the receiver of a miscalibrated message, and the metallic trace as the remains of a secret, gesture or word remembered in absence. In a way, it is as if the dimensions of temporality and spatiality were to be separated from each other and implode momentarily, making it possible to walk through the images of this hypothetical hiatus that rests hidden in the aperception of a whisper or a phantom limb – images of energy, matter and light.

Eva Mendes