sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2014

Gonçalo Pena

GONÇALO PENA - 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Marx Club Band', 2014.

A Abertura. Em torno de um glaciar


Esta série de pinturas de Gonçalo Pena é o resultado de uma viagem filosófica ao pós-humano, ou seja, aos contornos pensáveis e, no caso de uma exposição de figuras, imaginários, da dupla materialidade que antecede e procede o homem e a sua máquina de representações lógicas, picturais e de ações históricas, isto é, à 'ancestralidade' de que tanto escrevem os novos filósofos do 'realismo especulativo', mas também à posteridade do humano, intuitiva, postulável —segundo lógicas, geometrias e cálculos variados—, mas cuja antevisão é irrelevante para nós, pois nela já não viverá, nem pensará, o humano. E mesmo que outras consciências, extraterrestres, possam eventualmente existir, terão uma dificuldade extrema em perceber os restos que deixarmos impressos na poeira dos tempos.

Que melhor decisão, pois, para tamanho empreendimento, da parte de um artista, do que dirigir-se aos glaciares da Noruega com o livro L’aperto. L’uomo e l’animale (2002), de Giorgio Agamben, na mochila?

In our culture, the decisive political conflict, which governs every other conflict, is that between the animality and the humanity of man. That is to say, in its origin Western politics is also biopolitics. — in Agamben, Giorgio — The Open [¶17 Anthropogenesis]

Os cartões de Gonçalo Pena em exposição testemunham, assim, uma viagem 'naturalista', 'onírica' e 'imaginária' ao cerne das preocupações filosóficas, estéticas e políticas da nova ameaça que pende sobre todos nós: a certeza de uma próxima metamorfose do humano cuja configuração pós-traumática desconhecemos, como sempre.

Sobre Gonçalo Pena

Nasceu em Lisboa, em 1967. É licenciado em Belas Artes-Pintura pela ESBAL e mestre em Ciências da Comunicação pela UNL. Distinguiu-se como ilustrador em Jornais, Semanários e Revistas (Independente, o Público, Ler, Livros, Egoísta e outros). Entre 1996 e 2005, foi docente na Escola Superior de Artes e Design de Caldas da Rainha de onde saiu para dedicar-se exclusivamente ao seu trabalho como artista plástico.


16 outubro - 13 novembro*
Inauguração: 16 outubro, 18:00-21:00
Galeria Luís Serpa projectos, Lisboa
Galeria online @ Puerta Cerrada

* — exposição realizada com a cortesia da Galeria Graça Brandão.

GONÇALO PENA - Zarathrustra Slip of the Tongue, 2014


The Open. Around a glacier

In our culture, the decisive political conflict, which governs every other conflict, is that between the animality and the humanity of man. That is to say, in its origin Western politics is also biopolitics. - In Agamben , Giorgio - The Open [ ¶17 anthropogenesis ]

These new paintings by Gonçalo Pena are the result of a philosophical journey into the post-human, that is, towards the thinkable and imaginary (this is a figurative art exhibition) hedges of a double materiality. The one that precedes for ages mankind and its logical and pictorial representations, as well as its historical actions, which the young philosophers of Speculative Realism call the "ancestral time". And the one time after the humans have long been extinct. A time forward about which we can have a vague intuition, or even design some hypotheses and postulate some mathematical and physics predictions, but that in the end will have neither meaning or substance to us as a species, meaning a temporary form of life. Even if extraterrestrials would find our remains dispersed in the outer space they will probably not figure out any conceptual framework of such dust and incomprehensible drawings. What better decision on the part of the artist than to address the glaciers of Norway with the book Aperto, de Giorgio Agamben, in the backpack?

Gonçalo Pena's cards on display witness a 'naturalist', as well 'imaginary' journey to the heart of some philosophical, aesthetic and political concerns related to the new threat that hangs over us all: the certainty of a next metamorphosis of the humankind, which post-traumatic setting we ignore as always.

About Gonçalo Pena

Born in Lisbon in 1967 has a degree in Fine Arts - Painting by ESBAL and Master in Communication Science from UNL. He distinguished himself as an illustrator for newspapers, Weeklies and Magazines (O Independente, Publico, Ler, Livros, Egoísta and others). Between 1996 and 2005 he was a lecturer in the School of Arts and Design of Caldas da Rainha which he left to devote himself exclusively to his work as an artist.

Quotes from The Open. Man and Animal (2004, 2002)

in ¶2 Acephalus

Indeed, one of the central issues of Kojève’s lectures on Hegel, which Bataille attended at the École des Hautes Études, was the problem of the end of history and the figure that man and nature would assume in the posthistorical world, when the patient process of work and negation, by means of which the animal of the species Homo sapiens had become human, reached completion. In one of his characteristic gestures, Kojève dedicates to this problem only a footnote to the 1938-39 course.

    The disappearance of Man at the end of History is not a cosmic catastrophe: the natural World remains what it has been from all eternity. And it is not a biological catastrophe either: Man remains alive as animal in harmony with Nature or given Being. What disap- pears is Man properly so called—that is, Action negating the given, and Error, or, in general, the Subject opposed to the Object. In point of fact, the end of human Time or History—that is, the definitive annihilation of Man properly so called or of the free and historical I ndividual—means quite simply the cessation of Action in the strong sense of the term. Practically, this means: the disappearance of wars and bloody revolutions. And the disappearance of P hilosophy ; for since Man no longer changes himself essentially, there is no longer any reason to change the (true) principles which are at the basis of his knowledge of the World and of himself. But all the rest can be preserved indefinitely; art, love, play, etc., etc.; in short, everything that makes Man happy.


The end of history involves, then, an “epilogue” in which human negativity is preserved as a “remnant” in the form of eroticism, laughter, joy in the face of death. In the uncertain light of this epilogue, the wise man, sovereign and self-conscious, sees not animal heads passing again before his eyes, but rather the acephalous figures of the hommes farouchement religieux , “lovers,” or “sorcerer’s apprentices.” The epilogue, however, would prove to be fragile. In 1939 , with the war by now inevitable, a declaration by the Collège de Sociologie betrays its impotence, denouncing the passivity and absence of reaction in the face of war as a form of massive “devirilization,” in which men are transformed into a sort of “conscious sheep resigned to the slaughterhouse.” 5 Though in a sense different from the one Kojève had in mind, men had now truly become animals again.

in ¶20 Outside of Being

And if one day, according to a now-classic image, the “face in the sand” that the sciences of man have formed on the shore of our history should finally be erased, what will appear in its place will not be a new mandylion or “Veronica” of a regained human- ity or animality. The righteous with animal heads in the minia- ture in the Ambrosian do not represent a new declension of the man-animal relation so much as a figure of the “great ignorance” which lets both of them be outside of being, saved precisely in their being unsavable. Perhaps there is still a way in which living beings can sit at the messianic banquet of the righteous without taking on a historical task and without setting the anthropologi- cal machine into action. Once again, the solution of the mysteri- um coniunctionis by which the human has been produced passes through an unprecedented inquiry into the practico-political mystery of separation.

The complete online book

Exhibition Venue

October 16 - November 13, 2014
Opening: October 16, Thursday, 6-9pm

Rua Tenente Raul Cascais, 1B, 1250-268 Lisboa, Portugal

3 to 7 p.m., except Saturday, Sunday and Holidays


    Rato > 706, 709, 720, 727, 738, 758 e 773.
    Rua da Escola Politécnica > 758 e 773.
    Subway: Rato [estação terminal] Linha Amarela.


    Rua da Escola Politécnica, nº 231.


Tel.: [+351] 213 960 548
Tlm.: [+351] 964 028 807

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