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Joao Gusmao / Pedro Paiva
The Animals that at a Distance Look Like Flies
16mm film, colour, no sound, 2'05''
More of this artist
João Maria Gusmão (b. 1979 Lisbon, Portugal) and Pedro Paiva (b. 1977 Lisbon, Portugal) started working together in 2001, not only on artistic productions, but also on their editorial projects (Magnetic Effluvium magazine and Abissology, book 1 and 2). Their most notable projects were: the series Magnetic Effluvium and Abissology _ For a Transitory Science of the Indiscernible, as well as solo exhibitions held in the Kunstverein Hannover, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco and in the Matadero Madrid (PHotoEspaña 08). The duo also participated in different international contexts such as the 27th São Paolo Biennial, the 6th Mercosul Biennial and Manifesta 7. In 2009 they presented the solo exhibition Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air., official representation of Portugal at the 53std Venice Biennale. The duo live and work in Lisbon, Portugal and are represented by the Galeria Graca Brandao in Porto, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo and Galleria Zero, Milano.
Many of their films are influenced by anthropological studies and science fiction. “About the Spirit of Gravity (or the blacksmith and the serpent)” is an example of this ethnographical portrayal of a village blacksmith attempting to tame a serpent.
The pair uses artistic camera shots to show a world that is impossible to be seen without the aid of their camera. They try to incorporate literary composition along with their own metaphysical beliefs to create “truthful narratives.” Films such as “The Occult” and “Rolling Stones” show landscapes that cannot be geographically placed on a map by the viewer, but only labeled with a general term of desert or plain.