Helena Almeida - Helena Almeida (2004)

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Helena Almeida is a unique artist, with an exceptional and exemplary career, at many levels. Helena Almeida’s complex working method flows into the usage of black and white photographs, images of herself, in which the memory of an action, of a performance, seems to be depicted.

In the exhibition Pés no Chão, Cabeça no Céu (Feet on the Ground, Head in the Sky), the connection between Helena Almeida’s course and the physicality of the space that harbors the body is brought into focus.

Sente-me, Ouve-me, Vê-me (Feel me, Hear me, See me), from 1978/9, presented only once (and in an incomplete state) at the Galerie Erike + Otto Friedrich, and the series Seduzir (Seduce), produced between 2000 and 2002, which is presented here, complete for the first time. In both these series, video is used besides photography.

Sente-me, Ouve-me, Vê-me (Feel me, Hear me, See me) is a landmark in Helena Almeida’s work, because it is a polymorphous project that makes use of video, sound and photography, but also because it configured a project that brought together the sensorial side implied in the vocative addressed at the viewer, and the irony of its projective character: Vê-me (See me) is sound; Ouve-me (Hear me) is written on the mouth, as if sown in a suture; Sente-me (Feel me) refers to relations with inanimate objects.

The series of works generically entitled Seduzir (Seduce), of recent production, is composed of a large group of photographs of the artist’s feet, sometimes also of her hands, or even her body, frontal images. The series also includes a videographic work. It consists of a long action around a wooden stool, originally a study for the series – as can be confirmed by the coincidence of some photographs and some of the scenes of the video – but that finally established itself as an autonomous work, enormous in its intensity, and in the magnetism with which it seizes us.

Caught by the wires of Helena Almeida’s work, or suspended in its vocative, the recognition of the inner energy in artistic creation is always remarkable: the certainty of knowing that this is a unique path that cannot be walked again.

Delfim Sardo, January 2004

Biographical Note
Helena Almeida was born in 1934 in Lisbon, where she lives and works, and studied painting at Lisbon’s School of Arts. She started to show her work in the 1960’s. Her first solo exhibition took place in 1967, at the Buchholz Gallery in Lisbon. She as since exhibited in various galleries and museums, not only in Europe (Spain, Switzerland, France, among others) but also in Brazil, Macau, USA and Japan.

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