Albano Afonso. "Em Estado de Suspensao"

Albano Afonso. "Em Estado de Suspensao" solo show takes place at Appleton Square
Lisbon, Portugal. Rua Acacio Paiva 27 r/c
11.05 - 10.06.2023
Albano Afonso presents a series of suspended mobiles composed of objects such as bronze vases, crystals, and a mirrored skull. These elements rotate on themselves, merging with beams of light projected onto the walls. The title of the exhibition - In a State of Suspension - refers to the arrangement of these objects, but also to how our gaze is exposed to a horizontal abyss, a balance problem, much like his mobile sculptures. These suspended sculptural ensembles from Appleton's ceiling are still lifes, an indispensable genre in the history of figurative painting that paradoxically leads us to a highly mental abstraction. From a mysterious atmosphere emerges an inexhaustible kaleidoscope of reflections and shadows, guiding us towards an abyss.

On one hand, we perceive fragments of the artist's body, such as his hands, allowing for shadow play reminiscent of the Chinese shadow puppets of our childhood, evoking birds or dogs. On the other hand, a series of mineral crystals form another constructed nature in themselves, emphasizing Afonso's fascination with reflection and light. In other cases, this equilibrium is ironically disrupted by a series of weights. The image filters and fades. All of this is accentuated by the projection of colored lights that, in turn, generate additional frames, as seen in many of his photographic series, where he conceals disguised self-portraits suggested by the flashes of photographs and hinted at through fragments of his body. This approach also dominates these mobile sculptures, which bring kinetic and sonorous performativity, provoking suspense and contemplation while inspiring reflection on the substantial world and the existing universe beyond matter.

In a State of Suspension, our gaze assumes a vertigo that seizes the experience at every moment. A peculiar specular situation emerges, transforming the landscape into a kind of mysterious paradise, a characteristic feature of Albano Afonso's work, always enticed by blurred narratives that depict the unspeakable, with color as a modulated event within instability, grasping the world in its floating dimension. For Albano, the world is not a precise drawing but a revelation of its pictorial power, paving the way for the possibilities of the gaze as narrative, as experience, creating fissures in perception through an obsessive interplay of light and forms that transcend their own limitations