07 February 2020 – 01 November 2020
Alexandre Estrela’s (Lisbon, 1971) work is an investigation about the essence of images that expands spatially and temporally through different supports. In his videos and installations, Estrela examines the subject’s psychological reactions to images and their interaction with matter. The works are not just there to be watched, but rather to be unfolded. Each piece evokes synesthetic experiences, visual and auditory illusions, aural and chromatic sensations that function as perceptive traps, leading the subject toward different conceptual meanings. With this strategy, Estrela questions the elements that constitute the act of perceiving, splitting vision into more sensible dimensions, towards the unseen and the unheard.
In 2006, Estrela presented Stargate among a series of works that triggered sci-fi narratives informed by notions of gravity, perpetual motion, and time traveling. This video projection depicts a metal disk—a floating spaceship or time gate—slowly moving until the screen turns black. This alien object, which was, in fact, the lens cap of a Sony PD 100 (at that time, a state-of-the-art amateur video camera), now looks like a floating metal scrap, an artefact of obsolete technology echoing a discontinued mechanical world.
Fourteen years later, this portal without a door opens up to a solar journey at the Museo Tamayo. All and Everything (Todo y todas las cosas) is a voyage that begins with the sunlight trespassing the unswerving Van Allen radiation belt, continues through a core of metal matter and the cosmic laws hidden in regional modernism, and ends with the energy-consuming evergreen images of a desktop.
This constellation of pieces obeys a series of laws that are blind to the order of things—as if a random system suddenly took hold of them, questioning what is certain, immutable and continuous—and inhabits a domain that the philosopher Quentin Meillassoux called extro-science fiction (XSF), a world in which neither the laws of science nor science fiction apply, leaving to intuition what was previously the task of language and reason
Image 1: Stargate, 2002
©António Nascimento, 2006
Image 2: The Golden Record (All and Everything), 2017, still
©Alexandre Estrela, 2017
Image 3: Redskyfalls, 2019, detail
©Russ Bishop & Danita Delimont, 2019