Pedro Cabrita Reis continues to explore space and memory with the monumental installation, A Remote Whisper spread across the walls and 700 sqm of floor area on the upper storey of Palazzo Falier in Venice. The work that the Portuguese artist has conceived for the site has been developed by degrees, as he gradually entered in deeper and deeper contact with this traditional Venetian palace, to the point of being completely in tune with its historic yet minimalist spaces.
His work has always revolved around the themes of living, construction and territory by way of building complex structures that take over the exhibition space, that constitute a “remote whisper” to be followed. He does not like to create a pre-constituted interpretative route: Pedro Cabrita Reis wants each person to walk around the structures that he creates with total freedom – in this case, one in aluminium that continues around the rooms and is interrupted by lamps, drawings, paintings, photographs and objects – to be able to experience all the perceptive solicitations of the location. It is a work of art that is strongly connected to the space and to memory, even though it is charged with many other suggestions. An interest in architecture is implicit with this type of approach, even though it is as well to make some distinctions, as the artist himself suggests.
“Every so often there are those who define my work in relation to architecture”, he explains, “I’m not so convinced. What I am interested in is more the aspect linked to the construction. For me architecture is a political and social device that serves to organise a group of people within an urban territory that is in a state of tension: it is an ideological exercise for resolving the system of social relationships in the urban context.
Instead my work starts before that, on an anthropological and philosophical level. The work of the builder is to understand the position of man in relation to nature.