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Mariana João Carreira Tilly

CAPACIDADES (25 de Abril/6 de Maio)

Beginn des PhD-Programms / Start of the PhD-Program​: WS 2021

Betreuung / Supervision:
Gudrun Rath
Chuz Martínez (ECAM; HGK FHNW in Basel)

The PhD project CAPACIDADES (25 de Abril/6 de Maio) addresses, through interdisciplinary artistic practice, the layers of an intricate narrative regarding colonial and historical trauma, patriarchal systems, neglect and the contemporary lingering of unresolved cultural issues considering the role of figurative representation in mass-media and film. The center of the narrative is 6 de Maio in Damaia, a self-constructed neighbourhood in the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal, and its historical misrepresentation over the past century, in relation to the Portuguese Colonial Wars, ecological pioneer and inventor Padre Himalaia (1868-1933), the Vietnam War and weather warfare. Taking mass migration, poverty, violence and democracy into account, the consequences of the simultaneous Colonial wars and the Vietnam war (in which the U.S. Air Force used cloud-seeding) are questioned considering Padre Himalaia’s own path and efforts to create a rain-making machine for agricultural purposes in rural Portugal 70 years before it became an American weapon. Padre Himalaia was a resident in Damaia long before its populational boom after the Carnation Revolution (1974) and its consequent and contemporary villainization. As the narrative unravels, speculation is at the core of artistic production - much due to severe documentation gaps on all aspects of Portuguese history and 6 de Maio neighbourhood itself - prompting recurring questions and much needed investigation on the relationship between popular narratives and information systems of figurative representation (departing from the clash between Vietnam War broadcasts in American TV and fascist censorship of the Colonial Wars in Portugal) and its impact on wide-spread perceptions and historical narratives.

Kurz-Biographie / Short Bio
Mariana Tilly is a Portuguese artist, writer and researcher living between Basel and Lisbon. Ongoing research projects focus on the decolonization process in Portugal and its consequences and the impact of visual representation in histories of neglect, alongside painting works subverting the traditional approach to portrait and its historical status. She holds a BFA in Painting from the Faculty of Fine-Arts of Lisbon, an MA from Institut Kunst FHNW, Basel (2021) and is now a doctoral candidate in the MAKE/SENSE PhD Program (Basel/Linz).