How Did I Get Here

Sílvio Salgado

LaitosKollektiv, Helsinki

How Did I Get Here is an art project realised by the Portuguese artist and independent curator Silvio Salgado for the space LaitosKollektiv. The project is the result of an ongoing body of work began in 2004 under the title ‘thinking building dwelling across the horizon line’. It explores a new approach to combine art, interior design and architecture. Salgado’s aim is to challenge traditional notions of art’s placement: the work is developed in relation to a specific space – taking into account its primary function.

In the current art project, Salgado takes inspiration in Joyce’s Ulysses text. “I began reading Ulysses some time ago, soon enough it became part of my everyday routine, like dusting my apartment, an activity I engage myself with every other day – this also can be said of my reading of Ulysses. My reading of Ulysses has been unguided. I wished to commune with the text in an organic way, allowing my understanding of the text to grow as I progressed with my reading.”

“In How Did I Get Here, I make use of some suggestive images from the text of Joyce’s Ulysses by employment of words that stimulate my senses, such as touch or hearing. These images are psychologically charged, sexually suggestive, emotionally excessive and with an implicit violence.”

Salgado’s aim is to create a space within a space by means of inclusion, thereby creating a new space where the overlapping of different objects with different meanings becomes a tool for communication with the viewer.

The body of the artist – the body of the work. “There is an interdependence between my body and the object; the wall, while I am engaged in drawing. There are various ways the body is conditioned during the execution of the drawing. For instance, while drawing the upper part of the wall, I stood on a ladder. The tension in my body increased due to self-awareness of height (and the danger of falling) and the limitlessness of my body’s movements.“

The way the body engages with the wall during the execution of the drawing can be seen as a performance. The drawing’s plastic quality is determined by the various positions adopted by the body during its execution, as well as by the smoothness or ruggedness of the wall’s surface.

The Artist. Silvio Salgado first came to the attention of the Finnish public and media through the exhibitions organised at the artist’s private apartment in Turku (from 2003 to 2005) and later in Helsinki (from 2005 to 2007) under the name Vienna International Apartment. Since then, Salgado has curated exhibitions of international relevance such as Without Boundaries at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum (Turku City Museum) and 9 Voices 9 Places – Finland, hosted by the Camoes Institute of Culture in Lisbon, Portugal and the museum Baluarte de la Candelaria in Cadiz, Spain, with the participation 9 artists including Adel Abidin, Jukka Korkeila and Roi Vaara whose works where shown for the first time on the Iberian Peninsula.

Salgado has participated in a number of private and group exhibitions and lectured, i.a., at the Academy of Fine Arts and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki. During the past six years, the artist has lived and worked in Brussels, Belgium and Geneva, Switzerland. He returned to Finland in 2013 and now lives and works in Helsinki.

The Venue. LaitosKollektiv is a private space founded in 2013 by a heterogeneous group of professionals working at the Aalto University, with the object to provide a creative and neutral space where its members come together in an informal manner: to think, debate, work and relax.

The current exhibition titled How Did I Get Here is perhaps as much of a question as it is a simple statement, marking a point in time of Salgado’s artistic career.


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