Do it yourself by Madalena Anjos (b.1997), lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.
This self-portrait is as complex to decipher as the artist who has crafted it,  Lisbon-based Madalena Anjos. It presents a scenario scattered with disparate signs, signals and findings, reminding us of a mysterious map. Madalena, what is on your mind? I wonder where you are leading us… Inside your brain?

The paper looks ancient, and observing it feels like excavating from a mound of sand in search of clues. Records of found artifacts, incomprehensible writings, survival games, ruins… META! MORPH! are half-cut words written amongst extracts of texts, winding lines and an image of a tiny puppy. Where do these marks lead us? They seem crafted in a spontaneous way, taking us in different directions, like a riddle. Such associations are common in Madalena’s practice, as the artist habitually merges found items in her large-scale paintings, proposing the ruin as a starting point to imagine new possibilities. Likewise, her Instagram stories are always packed with photos of old albums, aging books, anthropomorphic beings and gluey forms, like relics stored in an antiquities shop. Through the contraposition of symbols, the artist probes the visual landscape of cities, wondering: can we reinerpet fragments, signals, and signs from urban sceneries? Can that vision, in turn, challenge our understanding and experiencing of the territory?  In the case of this self-portrait, the location is unclear and the direction inexact. Perhaps the key is to interpret it as a speculation where nothing is certain or stable, and where texts become an image and an image serves as text. 

Get ready: this is a trip that begins inwards to transport us across past, present and future scenarios, prompting us to wonder about what was, what is and what could be.

Words by Whataboutvic

RATO AO SOL is a Luso-Spanish platform for the emerging arts, founded by curators Francisca Portugal and Whataboutvic.

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