About my work

Text by Ana Carvalho, Gloria Adu-Kankam and João Carvalha

(...) Through exploring nostalgia and newness, Carolina addresses a kind of hybridity between the past, present and an unrevealed future, from which she creates diverse spaces of signification. Through her work by combining different contexts, concepts and artistic media, she explores ideas such as the continuing change of the world, the permanent state of reaction to new stimuli, and also a certain insensitivity and apathy in face of the multiplicity of information with which we are confronted every day. Emphasizing this idea of dialogue between the past and the present, but also the idea of something that remains to happen, Carolina Grilo Santos puts at the centre of the discussion the environmental challenges, the anguish we live in the Anthropocene, and the need to think about the reality of the natural and the social space. In this dialogue Carolina grounds on concepts such as solastalgia, heterotopia, illusion and delusion, and in parallelisms and time-space travels, that calls up on us for a missing revolution.

Text by João Terras for ISOCHRONE (0200) and an art piece from Exercício (16) — a tentar alcançar o planeta vénus, exhibited at a releitura do mundo, Espaço Mira (PT)

Na ponta oposta à entrada, em linha de corredor de passagem, a obra de Carolina Grilo Santos instala-se na matéria do ar, em diretriz dupla, árida, mas não menos estéril. Imagens que subsistem entre a verdade e a mentira revisitando o modo como percepcionamos o mundo. ISO — Iguais; CHRONOS — Tempo. Sobre o chão, essa linha isócrona — que mede a distância entre pontos em espaço e o tempo ou que por outro lado mapeia pontos onde algo ocorre ao mesmo tempo em lugares distantes. Esta noção ageográfica, de que os lugares são além geografia unos por um tempo comum, será a mais palpável verdade de uma inegável mentira. Por outro lado, em curva oporta, o gesto do desenho sobre metal dourado defrauda-nos a leitura permitindo-nos decifrar a indecifrável inscrição de um exercício que é desenho antes de qualquer significado. A ser ambas as linhas, as do chão e as da chapa, são desenho a ser.

Text by Luísa Santos about contacto.

contacto. (2015) crosses Carolina Grilo Santos’s memories with found archival material in a limbo between lived stories and created narratives. With the loss of her grandmother, the artist was faced with a change in her daily life and she inevitably returned to her childhood memories. Somewhere between a past that would not return and an unkown future, the artist realised her memories would soon fade and reality would mix with fiction.

Carolina Grilo Santos decided then to immerse herself in personal objects and photographs from her grandmother. These immersions lead her to past memories, but also to a period before she was born. Half of contacto. is concerned with exactly that period — as if writing an anti-diary. We perceive history — partly documented and partly told — from the origins of the universe with all possible theories about the genesis of life, evolution, and the development of humankind; yet we cannot participate in that past in any other way tha mere knowledge about it. By reinterpreting, whilst partly reproducing, with these dated cultural artefact Carolina Grilo Santos transforms the original. Her specific way of photographing, her filming, accurately follows the found objects, yet transforms it from one of information to a personal interpretation enhancing its nostalgic character. In photographing and filmins the void left by the found objects, Carolina Grilo Santos turns the immaterial into the material pulling the past into the present.

Texts written by me for external projects

For the exhibition De: Para: at Storyboard

Talvez seja o exercício da comunicação um dos mais complexos, nas suas próprias idiossincrasias, nos veículos pelos quais circula, nas armas de que se rodeia. De longe para longe, a necessidade do exercício da medida do outro e da procura dos seus limites, lugares e histórias. De um para outro, assumem-se posições de coordenadas da comunicação em que ambos são locutor e receptor, remetente e destinatário num caminho de transmissões cíclicas.

De;para é o essencial absoluto para descrever um momento de comunicação entre dois intervenientes que aqui se diluem para ser um ou muitos, múltiplos de si mesmos. A incógnita dos intervenientes pode ser uma recusa, mas também a necessidade de nos imprimirmos como um colectivo no espaço — os intervenientes são vários, ninguém, os pensamentos ou as próprias obras num circuito que não se fecha, incógnito na sua dimensão.

Decidir como trabalhar em colectivo, como conduzir a montagem de uma exposição, como intitular esse momento que é de todos é uma entrada na complexidade da comunicação e da correspondência sem retorno ao zero — corresponder é um exercício de relação, é andar às voltas numa mesma palavra ou saber-se indubitavelmente a mensagem a passar, mas saber-se acima de tudo que se mede forças sem que se chegue a lugar algum.

No mesmo plano, corresponder é um exercício de espaço-tempo, a impossibilidade de normativamente separar duas dimensões intrínsecas. Será o espaço-tempo do pensamento, o espaço-tempo da palavra, o espaço-tempo da viagem, o espaço-tempo do olhar, uma travessia que não é um nem outro, mas um tempo matérico ou um espaço suspenso ou outra coisa qualquer.

Partindo do projecto “Brasil de dentro”, que se propõe ele próprio como uma nau de criadores e de ideias do outro lado do Atlântico que tomam por assalto o Porto e o português, De;Para é uma lembrança de que Portugal e Brasil se encontram dentro um do outro, separados por um mar que é para ambos uma história imensa e que é também o nosso respirar.

De;Para oferece portanto um exercício de correspondência real — em que o tamanho standard postal surge como uma meta-comunicação —, uma reflexão em torno de si mesma e do que pode ser uma expedição eterna, ficcionada e sem rumo nesta travessia que é, apesar de tudo, muito precisa.

For taumaturgo publication by Luís Cepa

It was a long long time ago.
But, who told you that it really happened?
They still talk about this nowadays…
It was a cloud, it was a storm!
Maybe it was all different in the past.
Nothing happened after all…
A sunbeam hit a glass and it looked like a different thing, a figure.
I saw that!

Miracles, like the hands of their workers - “taumaturgos” -, are ingenious forces of the universal history and of the histories of each nation, county, kingdom, province, land or city. The most amazing miracles traveled until today by word of mouth or written into parchment and then into paper; it traveled until today as proverbs, expressions, warnings, prophecies.
As myths, tales and follies.

Today, miracles are histories beyond stories. However, it’s in this same world we live surrounded by science, constant thinking about the future, reinvention and technology that these stories are still alive. Science is creating awareness, explaining what really happened beyond popular and ancient beliefs - “things aren’t quite so”, “it seems like it wasn’t like that, after all” - but we never truly believe, didn’t we?

Miracles are at the same level as superstitions, spells and hoodoo. All of this stories came from our ancestors and parents, but it also lives through us: every generation is a continuous circuit for this stories and follies to be alive. Even as children of science and scepticism, we might still utter a curious “Thank God”, a “Midas touch”, a “fallen angel” or knock on the wood.

There’s no reason to believe that a mystical being might appear on a cloud, that someone can transform water into wine, rocks into gold and that extraterrestrial beings might be between us: but there’s always a chance, right?

Maybe I understand why. Because even after we knew that Big Bang was the beggining of everything, even after we knew that we were apes evolved into humans, even after we knew that rain is not a God’s punishment - even after all of this -, our history was written about lives, people and homes, villages and relationships. Through our history, religions live together empowering superstitions, miracle-workers, mirages, saints, angels and apparitions. Through this same universal history, other miracle-workers - pagan, profane workers - were dark witches, sorcerers and feared wizards condemned for their crazy predictions; to join them, mad people in the streets, agriculture workers with their popular knowledge and proverbs and leisure masters watching the clouds built stories too. Oh! And we still have centuries and centuries without artificial light that showed us the immense dark skies with stars, planets, comets and unexplainable things seen with the unaided eye.

As children of science, of this technologic world, we live in this limbo of hopes and pragmatic reasons. We eat documentaries and TV news for lunch and Harry Potter’s magic for dinner. And then, when another new crazy story is heard we are divided: “oh no, that’s not possible”, “do you really believe that, mom?”. We are broken, because although we seem so assertive, there’s something inside us against it.

At least, there’s something inside us that hurts, doubts and concerns. Something that makes us google, search for a book or two, ask someone and try to solve a problem that still is between a pragmatic science and a pseudo-science of words, proverbs and popular idioms.

This publication - tau.ma.tur.go - is exactly about this persistent pendulum inside us, the pendulum of the reason and the doubt, of the science and the hope. Through the words of Carl Sagan in his book “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”, scepticism fights over magic and spells in this eternal battle of centuries.