Escultura em Filme. The Very Impress of the Object


Penelope Curtis (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum)


Calouste Gulbenkian Museum


In London, in 1855, a speaker gave a conference on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Already having the possibility of presenting to his audience photographs of the sculpture above the western portal, the speaker suggests that the image is so true that it may well be “the very impression of the object”. The idea that the photographed object literally leaves its impression on the film is an illusion; and yet the films presented in this exhibition are so close to the sculpture that we almost feel its impression.

The classical sculpture is no longer part of the teaching programs and seems more and more distant. Nevertheless, it is present, in a remarkable way, in works of contemporary artists, especially on film, and through the film it is brought back to life.

Through the presentation of works by seven artists who develop their work in different parts of Europe, this exhibition explores the fascination that sculpture exerts on filmmakers. In this way, we are guided through various museums, from the Louvre Museum to the Capitoline Museums, from Paris to Rome, and on to Athens, with passages through Berlin, Munich and London.

The immobility of the sculpture itself, its silence, seems to provoke the artist, impelling him to use the image in movement. These pieces explore the ways in which ancient sculpture – be it whole or fragmented, on display or in the reserves, original or reproduced – is interesting for certain artists, and is also able to evoke questions about art and power. They are works that invite us to spend time with immovable objects, to get to know them better.

Other Projects