The installation Linha #1, 2002, by Luisa Cunha is a work that belongs to the Collection Caixa Geral de Depósitos. It is currently highlighted as it is part of the Hello! Are You There? exhibition curated by Isabel Carlos. The show is open at maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, between May 19 and August 28, 2023. This first retrospective exhibition of the artist's work follows the EDP Foundation Art Grand Prize awarded to the artist in 2021; the show also includes the works Drop the bomb! (1994) and 3, 2, 1 (1998) that also belong to the Collection.
The body of work the artist has created over the last 3 decades (1992-2022) is introduced in the accounts of the creative process in sound works as well as in written works. The word, or words, and phrases, often appear with their literal meaning. The installation Linha #1 shows the drawing of the sentence it embodies: “my shoes’ heels are 5 cm high and standing up this is the line along which I write effortlessly to write along this line is to write along this line anything I wrote above or below this line would not be to write on this line”. The performance time involved in the drawing’s creation becomes apparent by beholding it spreading across the walls of the exhibition area: “all that matters is that we, the viewers (each one of us), are here. That is the lightness of the artist’s poetics.” (Delfim Sardo, Abrir a Caixa, 2009).
The installation is viewed “as a kind of temporal sculpture, not only because it informs on the length of its execution, but also because it always imbues the viewers with the lived experience of time (mandatory for reading) as they navigate the space.” (Ricardo Nicolau, Directo ao assunto, 2007). The importance given to the viewer as they relate to the work implies not only a care for their understanding but, most of all, for their body and gaze. “The reference to the body as a dimension of the drawing, along with the direct reference to the performance involved in making the drawing, brings about a curious effect of echoing and mirroring in terms of aesthetic reception, asking the viewer to be aware of his own body in motion and its experience of perception/reflection as it unfolds in time and space.” (Miguel Wandschneider, O “Eu” Reflexivo, 2007). As such, the “drawing traces the presence of the body in space, a memory of what took place. And this experience of space changes limits, abolishes borders and alters the site” (Nuno Crespo, As Palavras Não Me Chega, 2007). At the same time, it “requires intimacy – a silent exchange – with its writing and with the space. (Sara Antónia Matos, Zona Letal, Espaço Vital, 2011).
Despite her dislike of CVs and biographical notes, in the work CV, 2018, the artist only mentions the years of her solo and group exhibitions (2018 2018... 1994 1993 1993). Recently she was awarded the AICA/MC/Millennium bcp 2022 Visual Arts Prize.