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 Oficina Mescla’s catalogue about their residency program in 2022

For a publication about Alexandra Rafael’s work in the context of the project Primeiro Fascículo (for sale at Bardo Creative Ground, Porto)

For the exhibition Peguei fogo ao céu by Teresa Arega
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For taumaturgo publication by Luís Cepa
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