Ricardo Valentim

The practice of the Portuguese artist Ricardo Valentim (Loulé, Portugal, 1978) is underpinned by the creation of strategies aimed at redefining forms of cultural constructs and established hegemonic orders. Using conventional models of cultural constructs as a starting point, the artist endeavours to recreate spaces where the content dealt with is presented upside-down or in a counter-hegemonic fashion.

In films like O Outro Lado do Uso and Floating Island, Valentim explores acritically established cultural notions: in the former, the daily activities of individuals when leaving a Starbucks café with their drinks in their hands and documented by the artist in identical terms to those made in the earliest forays of ethnographic filmmaking, with that daily act turned into an odd and exotic event that is both close and foreign to us. In Floating Island, Valentim largely relies on the same model of ethnographic framing, although this time reflecting on the posthumous work of the same title by Robert Smithson.

Those ethnographic and anthropological references are the basis for the lecture titled Growth and Culture to be imparted at the MUSAC auditorium. The lecture is based on the book of the same title by Margaret Mead and Frances Cooke Macgregor, with photos by Gregory Bateson. The authors of this essay developed in it a study on Bali’s society, using for it 4,000 images chosen from the 25,000 taken there from 1936 to 1939. In his work, Valentim tries to use the same ethnographic model.

In the lecture Growth and Culture, a number of slides with be projected which use the same title and graphic design employed in the original book; however, these images have been updated by a guest anthropologist under the premises of the new concept of cultural representation and development in present-day society.



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