Catalogue of the exhibition Cemetery of Anchors, a project by the artists Veronika Spierenburg and Nuno Barroso, which was on view at Galeria da Boavista between April 13 and June 20, 2021. This publication includes installation views from the exhibition and features texts by Tobi Maier and Catarina Alves Costa, as well as transcriptions produced from oral testimonies, recorded between 2017 and 2021, of members of the fishing communities that the artists visited during their research trips along Portuguese coasts.
“The exhibition Cemitério das Âncoras also takes the sea as its starting point, yet focuses explicitly on the Portuguese fishing industry. Since 2017 the artist duo Veronika Spierenburg and Nuno Barroso travel the coasts of Portugal in an attempt to research and document the past, current and potential future of fishermen and women labour in this country. These research trips took the artists from A-Ver-o-mar to Praia do Barril, where Cemetery of Anchors is located that gave the exhibition its title.”
– Tobi Maier
“We know that one of photography’s main characteristics is the process by which the original uses are modified and, finally, supplanted by consequent reappropriations – most notably, by the discourse of art, in which any photograph can be absorbed. In addition to reappropriated, reenacted and recomposed photographs, this exhibition also includes ethnographic objects and items such as a stone anchor weight and a painted hat – a functional object versus a singular object. Here, the things that have been chosen seem to explore a sense of duplicity: on the one hand, the idea of looking for a recurrent feature, evidence of that which remains in popular culture, in the collective dimension, and, on the other hand, a singularity: the hat that someone decided to paint. In the stone, that served as an anchor, the form follows the function, whereas the opposite occurs in the hat.”
– Catarina Alves Costa