Brazil, 1984

Sensorial Shelter

This project started as an investigation on what brings a sense of home and belonging to people. Being an immigrant I started questioning how spaces and objects interfere in that feeling.

Food plays a very important role creating the possibility of an imagined identity to be experienced in everyday life. Food carries a highly evocative power to enable one to feel “at home” through physical ritual of preparing, look, smell and evidently taste. Food is sensual and the feeling it gives you can overcome an estranged space and transform it into a place of belonging. A mug of coffee can be stronger in making me feel at home than any built architecture.

My personal interest and fascination led me to choose coffee as my main working material. During the days of the exhibition, I will perform making bricks out of coffee and building up a shelter. Each day the installation will gain a different shape. Everyday this fragile, powerful and impregnating shelter will grow or collapse.

This work is an attempt to give body to the power that ephemeral elements have in creating a sense of belonging.

Impossible Records

Through our lives we constantly register the events and people we encounter. We take photographs, we write diaries, transforming lived experiences into 2D records for a future self.

But how do our bodies record and remember things?

Smell is an especially strong trigger that can call up powerful responses almost instantaneously. It contains the paradox of it being fleeting and short lived but somehow staying deeply embedded in our bodies. Is it possible to force the transient smell into a memento?

What does the act of trying to retain the ephemeral mean?

I researched on printing with spices, echoing the relationship with food established in my other project. The resulting prints are vibrant and their scent very strong. Silkscreened on paper, the spices organically generate

new landscapes, rich in flavour and culture. Nonetheless quite quickly their colour fades away and their smell disappears. The pursued qualities evaporate, once again, dissolving into time.

As an ambivalent solution to my quest it seems that the only way to keep those qualities is to make it impossible to experience by vacuum sealing the prints in a plastic bag. 

I place a scissor and leave the decision to the spectator: to preserve it or to experience it.