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Helena Almeida

The video entitled A Experiencia do Lugar II (The Experience of place II, 2004), features the artist Helena Almeida (b. 1934, Lisbon – d. 2018, Sintra) moving through her studio on her knees like a penitent. In a sparse, uncluttered setting, she uses her body to explore the studio environment, a working space that was formerly also her father's studio and thus known to her since childhood. The viewer perceives the space in terms of its limits: the entrance, walls and floor. The soundtrack records ambient noises such as the scraping of a stool or a lamp, the only props involved. At the end of the video, we hear an extract from Christoph Willi bald Gluck's (1714, Erasbach – 1787, Vienne) aria Orpheus and Eurydike, a piece of music that imbues the site with symbolic significance. Almeida explains, 'Orpheus truly experienced a place, he had gone to Hell, gone to the dead to get his Eurydice ... I think a lot about the descent to the underworld, maybe because of all those horrible things that happen in the world'. Using her body to enact simple movements, Almeida's performances condense ideas into action, exploring in this instance the notion of space and its perception.

Artworks

  1. Helena Almeida A Experiênca do Lugar II, 2004

    Projection vidéo noir & blanc, son
    12 min 47 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2005 - Reginald Neuman Luxembourg
    © Photogramme : Mudam Luxembourg

Marina Abramović, "Video Portrait Gallery", 1975-1998 | Collection Mudam Luxembourg | Acquisition 2001
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