“Dear neighbour / lover / tourist,
I’ve made these drawings in silence while the city was noisier than ever. I’ve been looking at my phone in silence while everyone in it is screaming. Well, sometimes the drawings were made with some people in the room, sometimes I spoke while making them. The phone just witnessed everything, lurking, listening and breathing, recording every action. I don’t think too much while taking these photographs. It’s a reaction to the environment, it’s about temperature, the climate, the water used to mix pigments, the humidity in the air, but also the pollution, the excavation in me, my data. It’s a way of working with the body. It’s about refusing a definition. Dance movements made by these hands, all the gestures they animate. The drawings are like an open wound, an autopsy. They reflect, just like the mirror on the phone.
The drawings in this book were made in my studio in Rua da Madalena 117-A, in Baixa, Lisbon’s downtown neighbourhood. I moved in on November 2014. [...] Since the beginning of the Portuguese colonial campaign—but also before that—downtown Lisbon was a place of trade, of business. [...] Colonizing sea and land, colonizing the minds of others, their native languages, music. Hybridity and creolization. The trade of ideas, the exchange of diseases and microbes. Normalizing violence and ownership of the body. Among ruins, rats and humans, I opened an artist run space called Spirit Shop, in two rooms of the studio. We deal spirit. It’s not easy to invite other—other spirits—into your own personal space. But I’ve always liked to chat, share ideas.
Things are changing. I am changing, all the time. I had to make something happen there beside projecting my own subjectivity. You’re welcome to pass by whenever you want. I might be there. Come in and paint my eyes with Veronese green, the colour I used in these drawings. If I’m not there, leave a message under the door saying you’ve read this. I am not a businessman, I am an amateur, a magician, a clown, a monster, an entrepreneur of my own actions, just like you. I’ll be waiting behind the curtain.