Open Call – Screening of competition finalists
For the Fuso 2018 Open Call, we received 179 (valid) videos. We showed 24 videos, by 28 different artists. The broad range of submissions — which obviously makes the choice more difficult — reveals the strength of video art creation in Portugal across several generations: we included artists born between the end of the 70s and the end of the 90s. We also selected artists at different stages of their careers (well-established, mid-career and beginners), with an ever-increasing internationalization, in a two-fold movement of artists who live and work in European countries and artists producing work in Portugal.
Upon launching the Open Call, we raised the possibility that social content is ever-more present in the art being made in Portugal, after a long period of a certain “pure” formalism. This expectation, while not evident in all the submissions, is present in many of them. Also present, are themes that took a while to manifest themselves in the Portuguese context, such as the postcolonial question and the drama of Mediterranean migration. Artists frequently explore the interaction between the body and power. They mix photography, performance and video, creating a distance between images (often abstract or derived from nature) and words from the public discourse. They are influenced by new forms of storytelling, such a television series. They develop a discourse which is critical of today´s society, of the proliferation of images and of social networks. The messages they transmit via their work speak of memory, identity, the importance of defending human rights, violence, the absurdity of work, of a permanent state of disorientation and dissatisfaction.
The pieces are shown as animations, performances for the camera, the raw use of technique, and shorts with actors and narrative scripts. A camera which can be subjective or objective. Above all, at a time when images are ephemeral and intangible, it is difficult to leave a lasting mark by using them.