This catalogue has been published by the Municipal Galleries on the occasion of exhibition Carlos Motta Corpo Fechado, which was on view at Galeria Av. da Índia from October 2018 through February 2019. The publication features essays by the curators Sara Antónia Matos and Pedro Faro, the anthropologist Miguel Vale de Almeida and philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva. This publication presents the exhibition, which addressed themes such as the oppression of gender minorities in the history of Portuguese and Spanish colonial expansion in the Americas between the 15th-18th century.
“In short, all the works in the exhibition revisit – in order to reconsider – the sources of oppression that sexual and gender minorities continue to face today. Through in-depth investigation, providing alternative readings on History in opposition to more hegemonic and central narratives, the exhibition challenges institutional authority and patriarchy, and proposes an idea of “progress” that undergoes critical dissence.”
–Sara Antónia Matos e Pedro Faro
“Yet our hypothetical reactionary visitor does not live in the time of iron collars, but in the time of the invisible collars. He or she does not live in the time of Western incursion into indigenous territories, of the slave trade and the plantation economy, or even in the time of modern colonialism in Africa. He or she lives in post-imperial times. And as such he or she is unable to draw on information and education from either theology turned in the guise of everyday pedagogy and didacticism, or from nineteenth-century science transformed into evolutionist and racist common sense.”
–Miguel Vale de Almeida
“In Carlos Motta’s work, in particular in the exhibition Corpo Fechado, I discover a presentation of the oppressed (colonial-racial-gendered-sexual) subjectivity, as an emergent condition. Apposed to and against the subject’s scene of transparency, the oppressed figures in Motta’s artwork as an ethical figure that reflects its material context of emergence. Now such materiality can only be noticed because Motta does not depict subjectivity in abstract (absolute) space-time (where the subject enjoys its ability to return to himself) without mediation. Meaning, without interference of anything other than itself.”
–Denise Ferreira da Silva