Palácio Sinel de Cordes hosts Visionary Architecture: An exhibition curated by Antonia Gaeta
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Palácio Sinel de Cordes hosts Visionary Architecture: An exhibition curated by Antonia Gaeta
Installation view.

LISBON.- In the Codex Atlanticus, the largest set of drawings and manuscripts by Leonardo Da Vinci, 1119 sheets that comprise the author’s intellectual production between 1478 and 1519, one can find several allusions to the secret arts, the occult sciences and, more specifically, the golden number. This irrational number, also known as golden proportion, golden ratio, golden section, extreme reason, Phidias constant, harmony of the spheres and divine proportion, seems to be the measure of perfection, of grace, of harmony, and it is considered the most perfect of forms. Of the myriad of artistic fields you can cross in the Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection, among those occupied by mystics, psychics, self-proclaimed metaphysicians who tried to use art as a tool to access seemingly hidden realms, we cut out the aspect of the eccentrics, the makers and the visionaries, in an effort to reveal, through a parallel with the almost magical properties of gold, artists whose work pursued the perfection of the most sublime architectonic achievements.

In the categorization and choice of works and architectural typology, we tried to showcase the intelligible diversity of drawings, either monologues, contemplations or solitary reasoning, with the purpose of making the understanding of the relation between natural and entropic components, beauty canons, diversity and organization more fluid. Ideal projects, architectures on paper, works that describe mental images and delusions associated with the desire to achieve ideal and perfect worlds, the dreamed home or city, in order to recreate a space or a form where they feel truly welcome.

In the exhibition, the visionary is an ideal; the impracticable, a utopian perfection, a mental image dissociated from the physical nature of the real world, the occasion to rebuild the world as each artist believes it should be or, in any case, an invitation to discover and build their own narrative. Each showcased work is, at the same time, a synthesis of intellectual and formal construction, an expression of the relation between forms, the balance between colours, improvement and perfection. It’s in this regard that the golden number follows and challenges the construction of projects, scant prototypes capable of adapting to nomadism or indulging the fantasy of a flying or wheeled home, the union of imagination and function, the essential and the random. Hence, brilliant and unbalanced inventions emerge, perceptive challenges, an idea delineated in space made of physical relations between architecture and nature, heaven and earth. And also endless hierarchical relations, between the divine and society, with unsolved riddles inside claustrophobic spatial structures, a vision that encases the whole world and survives purely as artistic vision.

Curator: Antonia Gaeta

Antonia Gaeta (Italy, 1978) has a degree in Science for the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage by the University of Bologna. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Curatorial Studies by FBAUL and a PhD in Contemporary Art by Coimbra University’s Colégio das Artes. Gaeta has developed research and exhibition projects with various cultural institutions in Portugal and abroad, and her texts have been published in art catalogues, specialised journals and exhibition programs. For the Portuguese Directorate-General for the Arts, she was the executive coordinator of the official Portuguese representation at the Venice Biennale (2009 and 2011) and at the São Paulo Biennale (2008 and 2010). In 2015, Gaeta was the deputy curator of the Angolan Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, having since developed curatorial projects for the Treger/ Saint Silvestre collection of Art Brut.

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