Two-person exhibition with Diana Policarpo, 2022
at Lehmann + Silva, Porto

Exhibition text by Joana Rafael:

FOGO POSTO [ARSON] (2023) is the second installation made by Diana Policarpo and Odete. Since LYSIS (2021), the artistic duo of Diana and Odete have been exploring a theoretical base and a shared life experience, developing a work that combines the various areas of the audio-visual arts, within a multidisciplinary practice that makes use of different media.

In the installation FOGO POSTO, Diana and Odete employ words, images, sounds, touches of colour and lines to explore a poetic discourse that touches upon science fiction and speculative fables. They use a variety of resources, ranging from drawings on paper to film supports, in order to transport the audience to a future in the aftermath of the history of reproductive medicine inserted into patriarchal systems, without any guarantees of reproductive justice. The installation invites us to reflect upon institutional and constitutional discourses, perceptions and experiences of (im)possibilities of autonomy and self- determination, in relation to the body.

The narrative of FOGO POSTO is presented through a triptych composed of three complementary videos, which cover various time frames over two decades of history, being filled with facial expressions, emotions and tones of sound. These tones highlight Diana and Odete’s expertise and control over the creation of sounds. The group of sounds as a whole play a central role in the development of the narrative and the conception of the work presented, enhancing and enlarging the complete immersive experience within the surroundings of the installation. Painstaking details of environments, natural elements and the forms and colours of herbal and cellular fragments appear in a relationship of kinship in the drawings and videos. Despite being obsessive in relation to detail, these elements are released from the visual structure of the cataloguing and the scientific drawing and populate the exhibition space.

In the garden of human knowledge, where the seeds of discovery are planted and grown, as well as in the space – and imagined future – occupied by FOGO POSTO, we find botanical species that have repeatedly echoed their medicinal and therapeutic virtues over the centuries, such as Artemísia and E. Ginko. Among other species mentioned in the videos, these plants emerge as ambassadors of a botanical wisdom and intelligence. They transmit a certain reverence to the millennial history of the plants themselves. In the installation, they offer us a perspective about the importance of nature in the formation of science and modern medicine and in the transformation of human societies.