"... From the evocation of a past - individual and collective - Manuel Botelho inquires the nature and experience of images, and explores the porosity, the differences and the intersections between reality and fiction. This is a trend that is present in his most recent artistic work and helps to understand the choice of using photography and video. However, it should be noted that his fictional vocation is more evocative than narrative. The suggestion overlaps with the description. The imaginary projection dispenses and exceeds the historical reconstitution. It is an iconography where appropriation and invention meet, to the point where they merge, making explicit their interdependence.
We also see in this foray into the past the artist's intention to examine the ambivalent effects of memory and photographic archiving: on the one hand, we perceive that photographic images provide the documentation of moments of a reality distant in time, but in a totally different sense, one senses the erosion of confidence in the power of representation to correspond with the real world, we see that the images are not limited to fixing and recreating the past, that there is an ambivalent and dialectical, fictional, projective and abstracting dimension that potentially displaces the image into the fabrication of a new and parallel reality. And therefore, the images that Manuel Botelho brings us from the past seem to be destined to an increasingly pressing vocation: the need to relearn to look at the images, to not fear the experience of the conjugations and tensions between historical attention and phenomenological attention."
Translation of text excerpt from
"A Memória Projectiva" by Sérgio Mah (2017)
Album, 2017 | Inkjet on paper | 139 cm x 114 cm
Album, 2017 | 2 videos; full HD; without sound | 9 min 52 sec; 10 min 58 sec | Installation view, Galeria Miguel Nabinho, 2017
© Manuel Botelho, Album
All pictures courtesy of the artist.
Manuel Botelho (1950, Lisbon) is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon. He lives and works in S. Pedro do Estoril. Studied architecture at Escola Superior de Belas Artes de Lisboa (1968-76). A grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation allowed him to study at the Byam Shaw School of Art (1983-85) and the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1985-87). Holds a PhD degree in Fine Arts / Painting (Faculty of Arts, University of Lisbon, 2006). He took part in numerous group exhibitions. He held many one person exhibitions, namely: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (1986; 1994); Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon (2000); Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão, Lisbon (2005); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas, Elvas (2008); EDP Foundation, Lisbon (2008); Lagos Cultural Centre, Lagos, Portugal (2005, 2009); PLMJ Foundation, Lisbon (2012); Pavilhão Preto, Museu da Cidade, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Lisbon (2014); Galeria do Parque, Vila Nova da Barquinha (2014-15); and also in art galleries such as: Módulo (Lisbon and Oporto), Flowers East (London), Miguel Nabinho (Lisbon), Fernando Santos (Oporto), João Esteves de Oliveira (Lisbon), Gomes Alves (Guimarães), etc. His work is featured in many public and private collections, such as: Culturgest, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisbon; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; EDP Foundation, Lisbon; PLMJ Foundation, Lisbon; Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, Lisbon; Millennium BCP, Lisbon; Contemporary Art Museum, Elvas (António Cachola collection).