The Electric Eye
Curator: Antonia Gaeta and Pilar Soler
11 October 2019 – 05 January 2020
The exhibition presents selected works from the Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection, one of the richest and most comprehensive collections of art brut in Europe, housed at the Centro de Arte Oliva in São João da Madeira, Portugal.
The Electric Eye, curated by Antonia Gaeta and Pilar Soler, revolves around a series of works that use the artistic language to reveal an enigmatic journey, a to-ing and fro-ing between several dimensions or between a visible and an invisible reality. Encrypted messages using cosmological structures provide a glimpse into diverse realities and worlds, often deliberately dark and characterised by complex iconographies.
The key to these works resides in the meeting between forms and meanings that bring together tutelary entities and figures. It is a project about the mystery in meanings and hidden presences. The exhibition dramatises these elements as transient memories, materialised as multiple, complex realities, specific calculations, pyramids of power, apathies abated with the concretion of a visionary mission.
Above all, the show presents visitors with a provocative impossibility: the inability to decipher the entire message behind the works, because in many cases the artists act as mediators between the rational world and another unknown or transcendental world. The works therefore become narratives of the subconscious, inadvertently assuming aspects that subvert the established. Through a variety of coded messages, formulas, invented figures and secret codes, they question the limits of reason. There is always some hidden aspect that becomes an enigma and emerges as the only possible space of liberation in the face of its pathological condition. Conceived on these lines, the exhibition demonstrates the power of subjective processes, compulsive obsessions and fantastical visions.