“Quote / Unquote. Between Appropriation and Dialogue”

Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
Av. Brasília, Central Tejo
October 4–February 5

Diogo Pimentão, Documented (Belong #11), 2014, graphite on paper, 47 1/4 x 63 x 9".

In these times of discussing renewable energy, where better to house an exhibition on citation as artistic strategy—the recycling and recuperation of content, in other words—than a former power plant? As part of Lisbon’s Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, the Tejo Power Station ranks among modernity’s most striking monuments, and if it has long been an ideal site to consider the appropriation and reclamation of images, texts, and ideas, such investigations have taken on even more urgency as of late.

Noé Sendas looks at echoes in art-historical contexts when he brings self-portraits of well-known artists together in photo collages: In Picasso & Degas, Raphael & Warhol, Warhol & Sousa, and Nauman & Goya, all 2007, Sendas unites different artistic approaches and periods of time. A high point of this show, which predominantly features work by Portuguese artists, is Documented (Belong #11), 2014, by Diogo Pimentão, for which the artist has reconditioned what appears to be a thick metal sheet into a wave. The darkly shimmering surface of the wall-mounted sculpture recalls Minimalism’s formal experiments. Closer observation, however, reveals that the object is made of paper treated so intensively with graphite that it has acquired a metallic sheen.

Ultimately, the numerous, deft references populating “Quote/Unquote,” and its focus on the many artistic strategies of handling existing images, texts, and ideas, illuminate the capacities of art exhibited in a power station––as motor and driving force, as an ever-revolving energy.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.

Franz Thalmair