Walking into the Árpád Szenes-Vieira da Silva Museum, one of the first works displayed of the Portuguese artist Vieira da Silva is Atelier Lisbonne (1935) – a representations of an empty space with various planes and objects in perspective. Tough one of her first paintings, it encapsulates many of the themes that would later reappear in her work. From the grids and textures in her abstract paintings of urban landscapes to the evocative forced perspectives, Vieira da Silva’s paintings are almost always spatial in character.
Planos de Fuga was installed in the central hall of Colombo – an ample and tall space with an imposing domed glass ceiling. The symmetrical nature of the atrium is accentuated by the windrose drawn in the terrazzo floor. Our proposal arises from this distinct geometry which suggests an octagon. This shape provides a simple solution for the setting out and it is then divided by the lines that join each vertex of the shape. From the grid that is created by this interpolation, we identified three shapes which were then raised into volumes of different heights.
The resulting volumes create three distinct spaces: a “corridor”, a “room” of more ample proportions, and a “stack”. Each seek to simulate a unique experience of forced perspective, as suggested by the paintings of Vieira da Silva. The specificity of each space lends itself to hosting diverse immersive experiences into the artist’s universe which were subsequently occupied by Oskar & Gaspar and Rodrigo Leão.
The long triangular room was envisaged as an infinite tunnel, where the focal point is accelerated towards an edge of the space. The larger room has a simpler, orthogonal geometry, which is broken by a single oblique wall that aims to disturb the apparent symmetry and simplicity. This slight disruption is amplified by the mirrored plane on the opposite wall, which also serves to duplicate the perceived dimension of the room. The third gallery aims to explore a sensation of verticality and spatial complexity.
The outer geometry of the projection rooms and their relationships generate another space which itself plays with framing perspective views. This atrium centralises the entrances into the gallery rooms, simultaneously opening towards the main access passages to the main hall. The resulting diagonal spaces create cones of vision, which serve to frame the surrounding world. As such, the experience of visiting the immersive, digital exhibit is complemented with a different way of viewing reality. The three-dimensional composition of the volumes constructs visual relationships that vary around the pavilion, depending on the point of access which in itself is an abstraction of the urban landscapes of artist’s work.
The exhibition Vieira da Silva is a unique and sensorial immersive experience which connects the artwork with moving image and sound. The exhibition explores the oeuvre of Vieira da Silva and offers dynamic, informative and visually impactful experience by inviting visitors to become immerses in the artist’s painting. The digital content was created by Oskar & Gaspar, a Portuguese collective of digital and visual artists that specialise in video-mapping, 3D projections and motion graphics. The soundtrack to the experience was created by the renowned Portuguese musician and composer Rodrigo Leão.