Andre Goncalves

André Gonçalves was born in 1979 in Portugal. He lives and works in Lisbon. He works across the fields of visual arts, music, video, installation and performance. He has presented his work in the following solo shows: The Bird Watcher, Colönia Micro Gallery, Porto (2011) / Keeping Up With The Speed Of Light, Bon Accueil Gallery, Rennes, France (2009) / Trigger Happy, Miguel Nabinho Gallery, Lisbon (2009) / Amo-te as escondidas, como quem rouba rebucados, Espaco Fabulas, Lisbon (2009) / Untitled #06', Fabrica Features, Lisbon (2007). He has also participated in group exhibitions, residencies and projects: Nam June Paik Art Center, Seoul (2008) / Ura! Gallery, Istanbul (2008) / Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, CCB, Galeria Lisboa 20, Festival Temps D'Images, Luzboa, EME, Lisbon (2008) / Arnolfini, Offload Festival, Bristol (2007) / FILE, Sao Paolo (2006) / Pushing the Medium, Nodar (2006) / Untitled Artspace, Oklahoma (2006) / Experimental Intermedia Foundation, Diapason, New York (2005) / IFI, Pontevedra (2004). His music work, solo or in collective projects, includes more than 15 albums in several recording labels. Recently he has been working on his solo project Feltro and in the collectives Safe and Sound, and Gigantiq.


(Un)Foreseen Events


How do you prepare for an artistic residency? When you're supposed to leave the studio decisions that need to be made? What to leave behind and what to carry along? And in the end, are all those materials really important? Even if there's an initial concept to work upon, a motivation or a comment to be made, there are always foreseen and unforeseen events during the course of creating any artwork, some of which are surprisingly welcome while others are not. Furthermore, while the positive events help defining the direction and the aesthetics of the final piece, the negative ones allow you to have a better understanding of what and why they are not desired.

Several years ago I changed from the conventional art supply store to the hardware and electronic ones. I kept my brushes and paint in the closet and moved on to metal shaping, electronics and programming.
Working with technology as art materials in modern times is somehow demanding. From an artistic practice point of view, like the renaissance artist, it is necessary to be proficient in several scientific areas; intermedia/new media/digital/transitory art practitioners employ knowledge that before was left to scientists and engineers.

From an economical point of view, materials can be rather expensive and sometimes finding the perfect part is like looking for that lost needle in the haystack. It is important that one, as an independent artist living in a troublesome economical world, tries to find ways of overcoming budget limitations in order to keep making the artwork that inner motivations demand.

Like myself, this new generation of artists recur to the D.I.Y. (do it yourself) principles and in doing so many times recur to recycling, re-purposing and re-inventing found materials and their inner parts (mechanic and electronic components – one man's trash is another man's treasure), these are used not as ready-mades but rather to create assemblages.

Artworks can be enigmatic, in the course of the last years I always try to find metaphorical representations to the subject that I wish to address to. These subjects have been very diverse but there's an underlying method that is constant, as Arthur Ganson so eloquently puts it when talking about his own artwork: “when I’m making this pieces I’m always trying to find a point where I’m saying something very clearly, and it’s very simple, and also at the same time very ambiguous and I think there's a point between simplicity and ambiguity which can allow a viewer to perhaps take something from it”.

In the end, something is created and, in that process, given a meaning, a set of instructions and then, like any electronic commodity, it repeats itself to exhaustion or to a halt.


(Un)foreseen Events, construction, 1,80 χ 1,60 χ 2,75 , 2011, courtesy of the artist, commissioned by the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
(Un)foreseen Events, construction, 1,80 χ 1,60 χ 2,75 , 2011, courtesy of the artist, commissioned by the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
(Un)foreseen Events, construction, 1,80 χ 1,60 χ 2,75 , 2011, courtesy of the artist, commissioned by the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 Biennale de Lyon