20 June, 2007

Contributors: Nuno Coelho

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 individual
exhibition by the artist with work created specifically for this site.

The exhibition is comprised of large format porters, each with a black and
white outline illustration, which visitors are invited to colour using the
coloured pencils provided. Once again, Nuno Coelho is exploring the
familiar concepts of his work such as the use of vernacular cultural
reference and viewer interaction through print media.

The posters display various maps and graphics, and also include material
directly taken from photographs collected by the artist during a month
long trip to Palestine in 2006, during which he had the opportunity to
explore and research the complex situation in the region.

In this exhibition, Nuno Coelho produces a visual discourse around the
social tensions of daily life in this region where three continents
collide, and proposes a new approach to exploring the Arab-Israeli
conflict. This discourse is critical, but it is also ironic, and playfully
exposes the absurdity in the current situation.

This concept of the absurd is emphasized by the appropriation of infantile
language and iconography, used to illustrate the reality of the current
socio-political situation. The work demonstrates the opinion of the artist
that although there is a global discourse surrounding Palestine, few
people can reach beyond shock images and headlines engineered by the Media
and understand the basic principles of the conflict.

The work also invites us to question whether it is possible for an artwork
to have immense political focus without becoming one-sided, or attempting
to be transgressive, subversive or an act of political activism. Arguably,
denying philosophy is in itself a philosophical act, and so perhaps even
attempting to create artwork that avoids dealing directly with politics is
intrinsically to take a definite political position.

An exhibition catalogue will be avaliable from the gallery, comprised of
miniature prints of each of the posters featured in the exhibition, in the
form of a colouring book. This will be accompanied by a box of coloured
pencils. Catalogues will be limited edition, each one numbered and signed
by the artist.

16th June - 27th July 2007

10AM - 8PM
Rua Garrett, 83
4th floor,
1200-203 Lisbon

Supported by Viarco
Thanks to Adam Kershaw and Zajel Youth Exchange Program