Bringing together around fifty works by twenty-six artists from different generations, Second Nature stems from a research into the archive of the EDP Foundation Art Collection, taking account of current debates on the natural world and its representations. The result is a unique portrait of artistic production in Portugal over the last fifty years, a period in which the idea of nature has undergone a profound change.
The exhibition offers multi-faceted testimonies to the inseparable nature of the bond between people and the natural world. This relationship has triggered intense multi-disciplinary debates, specifically around the notion of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch defined by the impact of human activity on the environment.
Against this backdrop, artists are the first to understand nature as a subject that is essentially produced by humans – a subject to be captured, filtered and reinvented by technical media that include the tools of painting, sculpture and photography. The artist’s gaze is itself the creator of a “second nature,” one which no longer pertains to “natural nature” but to the domain of art.
The exhibition route is arranged according to sub-themes that include the cultural construction of the natural world; an analysis of the garden as a critical device; the non-mimetic representation of specific elements of nature and landscape; and the link between the natural and the technological. In addition to works that have rarely been shown to the public, the exhibition also features a series of works that have recently been acquired by the EDP Foundation.
Second Nature is the first of a series of Perspectives that the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology is devoting to the EDP Foundation Art Collection. For these series, a guest curator and a curator from the museum will focus on a theme that translates into a particular selection of works. The range of curatorial choices examines the works of art in the collection as a living platform that triggers different reflections on, and interpretations of, contemporary life.
Gabriela Albergaria, Vasco Araújo, Manuel Baptista, Michael Biberstein, Fernando Calhau, Alberto Carneiro, Paulo Catrica, Alexandre Conefrey, Luísa Correia Pereira, Cruz-Filipe, Alexandre Estrela, João Grama, Victor Jorge, José Loureiro, Maria Lusitano, Mariana Marote, Jorge Martins, Noronha da Costa, João Queiroz, Martim Ramos, Sandra Rocha, Julião Sarmento, Miguel Soares, Susanne S. D. Themlitz, Pedro Vaz, Valter Vinagre