Vasco Araújo

Portugal

Vasco Araújo was born in 1975 in Lisbon where he continues to live and work. He completed his first degree in Sculpture in 1999 at FBAUL (Lisbon University School of Fine Art) and attended the Advanced Course in Visual Arts at Maumaus in Lisbon, from 1999 to 2000. Since then, he has participated in various solo and group exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad, and has also taken part in residency programs including the University of Arts, Philadelphia (2007); Récollets, Paris (2005); and the Core Program (2003/04), Houston. In 2003, he was awarded the EDP Prize for New Artists.


Vascoaeaujo.org

Parque Tématico

2016
HD Video, 8’44”, 16:9, with sound


Parque Temático addresses questions of human existence and freedom by exploring the colonial iconography on display at the theme park Portugal dos Pequenitos (Portugal for the Little Ones), spearheaded by the sculptures standing at the entry to the pavilions representing the former Portuguese colonies. Zeroing in on the power relations at play during colonialism and post-colonialism, the film discusses the troublesome dynamics of submission engendered by the history of slavery and segregation, congealed in the sculptures representing black figures, and forever arrested in this condition.

In the absence of authorization from the Fundação Bissaya Barreto (FBB) – the private institution of social solidarity and public utility that manages Portugal dos Pequenitos – to photograph and/or to film these sculptures, the artist decided to proceed with the work without access to any footage or image of the figurine sculptures, choosing to blind the image instead. The dialogues in the film Parque Temático were played by actors from the companies Companhia Bonifrates and Escola da Noite.

Voices: Sofia Lobo; João Pedro Gama; Igor Lebreaud; Miguel Magalhães; Ana Pires Quintais; Delfim Sardo, Vasco Araújo.
Text: Vasco Araújo
Music: “Quartetto per Archi No1”, by Krzysztof Penderecki; “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 Stringed Instruments”, by Krzysztof Penderecki

 

This work is presented by guest curator Inês Grosso and exhibited on Screencitybiennial.org, accessible 12-31 October 2017.

Image: Vasco Araújo, Parque Tématico (2016), HD Video, 8’44”, 16:9, with sound. Courtesy of the artist.