The design is done carefully and attentively by the use of 3 walls (only) — that divide and play with the geometry of Galeria of Municipal do Porto creating clear and distinct atmospheres. Most of the structures used, are leftovers from previous exhibitions, such as plinths, vitrines, floor materials, and wall studs in an attempt o leave a minimum footprint, and allow for reusable and recyclable display solutions.
The exhibition addresses the entanglement between extractivism and exhaustion, productivity and burn-out, across scales. It is symbolically represented by a green wall that can be charged by artificial light, which, when turned off, releases energy and light that has been stored, creating a glowing effect and reproducing the sinusoidal performance of batteries. This spatial strategy guides the visitor through the space, reminding us of the digital and electronic world that depends heavily on the compulsive extraction of the third element of the periodic table — Lithium.
Curated by Marina Otero Verzier, the exhibition takes as its starting point the ongoing lithium extraction plans in the North of Portugal and the struggles sustained by local communities for their lives and rights. Battles that emphasize how, in what has been described as "green colonialism", the development of the "renewable energy futures", too often involves the dispossession of communities and degradation of ecosystems.
Whereas the mining industry — and capitalism cravings — subjugates and exploits the mountain and its inhabitants treating them as resources to be extracted, the violence is turned into a force for survival for these communities through collective infrastructures and embodied rituals. If mining results in social, ecological, and mental breakdown, these practices, alongside artistic expressions, break social order to create counter worlds merging the individual and the collective, the ancestral realm and future generations, the human and more- than-human, and unleashing alternative understanding of energy.
GMP, Porto, PT
Exhibition Architecture by Diogo Passarinho Studio
Team: Gonçalo Reynolds and Diogo Passarinho
Curator: Marina Otero Verzier
Artists: Amável Antão, Anastasia Kubrak, Carlos Irijalba, Giuliana Rosso, Grupo de Investigação Territorial (Antonio del Giudice, Godofredo Enes Pereira, Jacob Bolton, Mingxin Li, Tiago Patatas), Heitor Cramez, Isidro Rodrigues, Jonas Staal & Radha D’Souza, Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, Lara Almarcegui, Leanne Wijnsma, Lithium Triangle Research Studio + Nicolas Jaar, Maarten Vanden Eynde & Edmond Musasa, Medios Libres con la Gira Zapatista, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Natalia de la Rubia Kozlowska, Orlando Vieira Francisco, Povo de Covas do Barroso & Paulo Carneiro, Susana Caló, Susana Soares Pinto, Tanguy Pitavy, Tomás Saraceno & Aerocene Foundation.
Graphic Design by Joana Pestana
Photos by Dinis Santos/Galeria Municipal do Porto