Octopus and Myopia

Ilídio Candja Candja


Octopus and Myopia is an exhibition that gives order to a selection of processes and works produced from 2014 to 2020 by Mozambican artist Ilídio Candja Candja, who settled in the Portuguese city of Porto in 2005. He is part of a generation of Mozambican artists born in a period of euphoria that culminated with national independence and a complex process of decolonisation that still demands space for dialogue.

If a consciousness of these events is imprinted in the work of Ilídio Candja – born in 1976, a year after Mozambique’s independence –, this period also brings to mind the post Carnation Revolution generations of Portugal and the struggles of national territories in Africa formerly under colonial domination.
Candja retraces this struggle in his work process in an attempt at domination or insertion in space, imprinting his concerns with a view to survival. Driven by a sense of urgency, Candja develops gestures and ways of organising the meaning of the “chaotic” external world that we can apprehend through our senses, creating a language and an imaginary space through a capacity for abstract thought. This space, impregnated by paints, colours, shapes, signs, symbols and marks on canvas, serves as a conscious “mediumistic-action” to enable the apprehension and construction of the reality in which he is inserted.

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