A Land Without People for a People Without Land
An exhibition by Nuno Coelho
16th June - 27th July 2007
10am - 8 pm
16th June - 6pm
Supported by Viarco
Thanks to Adam Kershaw and Zajel Youth Exchange Program
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"An exhibition of work by Portuguese communication designer Nuno Coelho,who lives and works in Oporto, will open on the 16th of June, 2007(Saturday) at 6pm at the Fabrica Features Lisbon gallery.
"A Land Without People for a People Without Land" is the first individualexhibition by the artist with work created specifically for this site.
The exhibition is comprised of large format porters, each with a black andwhite outline illustration, which visitors are invited to colour using thecoloured pencils provided. Once again, Nuno Coelho is exploring thefamiliar concepts of his work such as the use of vernacular culturalreference and viewer interaction through print media.
The posters display various maps and graphics, and also include materialdirectly taken from photographs collected by the artist during a monthlong trip to Palestine in 2006, during which he had the opportunity toexplore and research the complex situation in the region.
In this exhibition, Nuno Coelho produces a visual discourse around thesocial tensions of daily life in this region where three continentscollide, and proposes a new approach to exploring the Arab-Israeliconflict. This discourse is critical, but it is also ironic, and playfullyexposes the absurdity in the current situation.
This concept of the absurd is emphasized by the appropriation of infantilelanguage and iconography, used to illustrate the reality of the currentsocio-political situation. The work demonstrates the opinion of the artistthat although there is a global discourse surrounding Palestine, fewpeople can reach beyond shock images and headlines engineered by the Mediaand understand the basic principles of the conflict.
The work also invites us to question whether it is possible for an artworkto have immense political focus without becoming one-sided, or attemptingto be transgressive, subversive or an act of political activism. Arguably,denying philosophy is in itself a philosophical act, and so perhaps evenattempting to create artwork that avoids dealing directly with politics isintrinsically to take a definite political position.
An exhibition catalogue will be avaliable from the gallery, comprised ofminiature prints of each of the posters featured in the exhibition, in theform of a colouring book. This will be accompanied by a box of colouredpencils. Catalogues will be limited edition, each one numbered and signedby the artist.
Nuno Coelho will be present at the opening."
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