Galeria Contemporânea do Museu
12 JUN 2024 - 3 NOV 2024
Quando não há luz

© Sara Bichão

Sara Bichão (PT, 1986), artist based in Lisboa, presents a new exhibition in the Contemporary Gallery of Serralves Museum. Called Quando não há luz [Lightless], this selection features works produced during a series of residences that took place over more than a year. With the support of the museum and park team, Bichão transformed a small outhouse on the Serralves Foundation estate into a studio. In this space, the artist adjusted to the uniqueness of the institution’s surroundings and the seasonal changes that impact upon the everyday and our relationship with the nature in our midst. As in many of her projects, the artist embraced the unexpected, inspiring, and allowing herself to be guided by her experience of the place and its resources. 

In a spirit of recycle/reuse, making use of a range of materials salvaged from different exhibitions put on by the museum, or otherwise found in nature — such as the clay which served as raw material for a series of sculptures and the iconic Casa de Serralves’ rose-colored ink, used for a number of drawings on cardboard, just to name a few examples, — Sara Bichão turns a critical gaze to how contemporary art is produced, where art is seen as a commodity, and thereby contributing to an interminable cycle of consumption and waste. In her work, she stakes a claim for art as an act of resistance, a means to challenge established norms enabling us to collectively become aware of the importance of sustainability and respect for the environment. Nonetheless, rather than being a political manifesto, the work of Sara Bichão constitutes a form of emotional, empiric expression, an invitation to explore new perspectives and ways of looking at the world and how we relate to nature and the other. This is where the artist’s hand makes itself felt; the delicateness of gesture, molding the sculptures and sewing the fabric; the intuitive freeness of a practice which affirms itself as an absolutely unique voice on the national art scene. In this intermingling of art and substance, the artist reveals the gracefulness of the eternal cycle of life, steadily turning, where each work absorbs the essence of what was, to metamorphosize into what will be, in a constant, uninterrupted flow echoing the intrinsic rhythms of nature. 

In the exhibition at Serralves we become part of an almost immersive environment, populated by a series of indecipherable presences: bodies huddled on the floor, faces watching us in the dim light, a suspended cocoon that seems to imprison its own history, blue LED hoses that form a meandering design suspended from the ceiling as if they were leading us to some place without going anywhere. This may be one of the many questions which may come to mind as we pass through Bichão’s exhibition — Where is it taking us? What is it telling us? The beauty of her work often resides exactly in this question: the fact it does not offer definitive, or dogmatic responses. Nor does it need to. 

Quando não há luz invites us to embark on a voyage through less well-known paths of art and life. The exhibition’s poetic and mysterious title leads us to reflect upon the fleetingness and fragility of human existence, as well as the transitory nature of objects, materials, and nature itself, on those instances of uncertainty and ambiguity, and spaces where silence and the invisible reign. Could this place, a netherworld of scattered memories and reminiscences where time has stood still in an eternal night, lead us to engage in more intimate reflection, and ultimately impel us to explore our own hidden abysses? Ultimately, both light and darkness are essential, and more intensely reveal their enchantments and meanings, in the expression of their limits, or radically, in their absence.

The exhibition is curated by Inês Grosso, chief curator of the Serralves Museum, and produced by Giovana Enham. Special thanks to the Park team and to João Brites from the installation team who assisted the artist from the outs.

Exhibition Sponsor

Quando não há luz


Sara Bichão

Sara Bichão (Lisbon, 1986). She completed a BA (2011) and MA (2008) in Fine Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, Portugal. She has attended several artistic residencies, such as: Residency Unlimited (2022, New York, USA); Finisterrae (Ouessant, FR, 2022); Cité Internationale des Arts, (2019, Paris, FR); Centro ADM (2016, Mexico City, MX). She has received grants from the French Institute (2019, 2022), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2014) and the Luso-American Foundation (2022). A selection of her solo shows include: "What is the thing, What is it ", Filomena Soares Gallery (2020); " Find me, I kill you ", Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2018); "Coastal", Barbara Davis Gallery (2017). Group shows include: "Twin Islands", Vaga / CAC Passerelle / Carpintarias de S. Lázaro (2023-22); "Traverser La Nuit", MAAT (2022); "Clorophilia", Porta 33 (2021); "Storytelling", MAC Lyon (2019). Her work is part of public collections such as: Fondation Antoine de Galbert, France; CACE (State’s Collection of Contemporary Art); FLAD (Luso American Foundation); PLMJ Foundation; EDP Foundation - MAAT; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Carmona e Costa Foundation; MidFirst Bank, Arizona, USA. Bichão was awarded with the FLAD Drawing Prize (finalist, 2021), Anteciparte'09 (finalist, 2009), Fidelidade Mundial – Young Painters (2009), BPI - FBAUL (2008). desenvolvido por Bondhabits. Agência de marketing digital e desenvolvimento de websites e desenvolvimento de apps mobile