joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon

art 188 shares connections: +1170

MAAT museum presents plug-in by joana vasconcelos

 

Lisbon-based MAAT museum joins forces with Portuguese contemporary visual artist Joana Vasconcelos to launch her solo exhibition, Plug-in. This latest showcase brings together Vasconcelos’ new works, some of her iconic pieces produced since 2000, and projects from the EDP Foundation Art Collection. Joana Vasconcelos has established an impressive career spanning some 30 years. Renowned for her monumental sculptures and immersive installations, the artist decontextualizes everyday objects to update the arts and crafts movement for the 21st century, exploring the private sphere and the public space, popular heritage, and high culture. With humor and irony, she questions the status of women, consumer society, and collective identity. In this solo show, Vasconcelos establishes an intriguing dialogue between electricity heritage, technology, and the contemporary arts. The exhibition opened to the public on September 29th, 2023. 

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
Árvore da Vida / Tree of Life (2023) | all images © Bruno Lopes

 

 

 a dialogue between electricity heritage, tech, and the arts

 

The Plug-in exhibition takes place in both museum buildings, now known as MAAT Central and MAAT Gallery. In the former, Joana Vasconcelos (see more here) presents Árvore da Vida / Tree of Life (2023), created in the context of the Portugal-France Cross Season and now adapted to the Tejo Power gallery. At the gallery, a total of six works are on display: the brand new Drag Race (2023), which links back to War Games (2011), two conventional vehicles transformed into works of art — the first exuberantly ornamented with gilded carvings and feathers and the second covered with toy rifles and filled with stuffed toys. Two other pieces featured at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao also landed for the first time in Lisbon: the mirror mask popularized with the title I’ll Be Your Mirror (2019) and the gigantic Solitaire ring (2018) installed outside the museum. From Asia comes the tentacular textile sculpture Valkyrie Octopus (2015), created for the casino MGM Macau and hung today in the MAAT’s Oval Gallery.

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
Solitaire ring (2018) installed outside the museum

 

 

These most recent productions are joined by another work from the EDP Foundation Art Collection, allowing visitors to revisit Joana’s history while still maintaining the electrical connection that sets the tone for this exhibition. Strangers in the Night (2000) was exhibited in the exact location as Medley, Joana Vasconcelos’ first retrospective, made possible by the first edition of the EDP Foundation New Artists Award in 2000. Twenty-three years later – and after establishing her name on the world contemporary art scene – the Portuguese artist returns to the Lisbon waterfront for an ambitious exhibition.

Using the heritage of electricity, which is at the root of the EDP Foundation’s work, and the dialogue between technology and the contemporary arts, present in many of her creations, she re-establishes a connection with the public in her city. Joana Vasconcelos was the first artist to win the EDP Foundation New Artists Award 2000. ‘Right from the start,‘ she writes, the EDP prize was a very important moment that set many things in motion in my work.’ The Plug-in exhibition is on view at MAAT until March 25th, 2024. 

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
I’ll Be Your Mirror (2019)

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
the giant mask lands for the first time in Lisbon

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
Drag Race (2023) and War Games (2011)

maat-plug-in-joana-vasconcelos-designboom-full-2

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
Valkyrie Octopus (2015)

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
the tentacular textile sculpture is hung at the MAAT Oval Gallery

joana vasconcelos deconstructs electricity heritage in plug-in show at MAAT lisbon
close-up shot

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exhibition info:

 

name: Plug-in

location: MAAT museum | @maatmuseum, Lisbon, Portugal 

artist: Joana Vasconcelos | @joanavasconcelosatelier

curator: João Pinharanda

photographer: Bruno Lopes

viewing dates: September 29, 2023 – March 25, 2024

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