Thursday, December 10, 2009


locus in quo by manuela barile

Cultural Forum of Cerveira (Vila Nova de Cerveira, PT)
18 December 09 - 16 January 10
Opening on 18 December at 9.00 p.m. (with a live performance by the author)

Locus in quo - which means "the place where something happens" - is the general title the artist gave to a body of works based on a particular theme: the sense of places. The project consists of three audio/video installations (Pesa, Cá and Birdsoundcage) and a concert performance (Oikos). These components function both as interconnected, independent works and, as a single cohesive work.

Pesa (“nest” in Estonian) is a three-channel video installation conceived in response to a site-specific performance that Manuela Barile developed at Moks, an artist residency in Estonia between September and October 2008. It consisted on building a nest in several places where the artist felt a sense of belonging (the abandoned house, the abysses of the lake, the rock near the pond, etc). Pesa describes the approach of a person who leaves with sadness and deep awareness the place to which he is attached, to set off in search of his new "home." Pesa is a project dedicated to the house, to the house of our childhood and to all the houses we have abandoned during our life. It is an interrogation on the feeling of abandon and melancholia. The sound composition is made by: sounds of the performer’s voice recorded live in places where the nests were constructed and then abandoned, field recordings made in the places described above and an abstract of an Estonian traditional song about the theme of the abandon.

Cá is a two-channel video installation developed as a consequence of the artist travels since March 2009 in search of abandoned villages in the region of São Pedro do Sul (Portugal), where she is been living since 2006. The abandoned villages are places with a strong identity, are places alive even if they are uninhabited, even if the nature has gradually absorbed them. They are places still alive because full of memory. They are a bridge with the past ... our past. The artist aim was to trace, catch and interrogate the signs of life and memory where everything seems over. Tracking the signs of memory means for her to take back our roots to reconnect us to a sense of authenticity that is being extinguished. The sound composition is made by: sounds of the performer’s voice recorded live in the abandoned villages using a binaural microphone; sounds of the abandoned villages; sounds of other villages (like the sound of a celebration in a public square, of a window opening and closing); abstracts of traditional songs of the region where there are the abandoned villages (S. Pedro do Sul, Portugal)

Birdsoundcage is a sound and video installation. Is a cage for birds recreated through the medium of sound in an empty and sterile room. Inside of it, there is a body flopped to the ground, that in order to survive decides to make a custom-made cage made by prostheses. The prostheses are obtained setting white-patched twigs of wood on her lower and upper limbs. The organic matter, with which the prostheses are made, is the rest of a nest, a place of the past that no longer exists.