Underdogs premieres documentary short “The World as a Whole” at the French Film Festival in Lisbon

Underdogs estreia curta documental “The World as a Whole” na Festa do Cinema Francês, em Lisboa | P55 Magazine | p55-art-auctions

On the 2nd of November at 9:30 pm, the cultural platform Underdogs will premiere The World as a Whole (teaser available here), its first documentary film, at the Manoel de Oliveira room of the mythical Cinema São Jorge in Lisbon. As part of the French Film Festival program, this short film, directed by Ana Pires, takes us behind the scenes of (Sem) Fronteiras, a project by Underdogs, developed as part of the Portugal – France 2022 season, which challenged four artists Portuguese and four French artists converging to create public art interventions in four twin cities between Portugal and France.

about the project (Borderless
Conceived by Underdogs and developed in partnership with the French Institute, the public art project (Borderless aims to promote a creative encounter between four Portuguese and four French artists, leading to the creation of public art interventions in four germinated coastal cities.
– Capbreton (France): Wasted Rita & Elea Jeanne Schmitter
– Nazaré (Portugal): Tamara Alves & YZ (Yseult Digan)
– Bordeaux (France): Add Fuel & L'ATLAS
– Porto (Portugal): ±MoreLess± & RERO
Designed within the scope of the Portugal-France 2022 Season and curated by Pauline Foessel and Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, (Borderless constitutes an open dialogue between the two countries. An open door, built on exchanges, visual and poetic comings and goings between creators of the same movement – urban culture – exploring aesthetic and conceptual worlds that, despite being underlined by evident differences, are encapsulated by a deep complementarity.

The four collaborative interventions have as their motto a reflection on the nature and future of borders, not only in their geographical dimension, but also in their conceptual breadth. In this context, a special focus will be given to the complexity of urban borders and the way in which contemporary creation in urban space plays with the borders of cities. Additionally, and also as a consequence of the coastal geography of the chosen territories, the artists will be challenged to explore the land and sea borders, and the visible and invisible boundaries that exist within the European Union.

Opening paths of social, cultural, economic and political exploitation, (Borderless intends to emphasize the possibility of a European space that awakens the establishment of reciprocal relationships between people and ideas, also extolling the power of artistic intervention as a tool for questioning and a lever for social and geographical cohesion.

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CAPBRETON – Wasted Rita & Elea Jeanne Schmitter

Artist duo Wasted Rita and Elea Jeanne Schmitter worked on a series of files captured in Capbreton during the lockdown. Every day, and thanks to a VHS camera, the sunset was recorded and archived, generating a diary of these days, which sometimes seem to be all the same. With the objective of developing a collaboration within this territory and that would reflect the experiences of both, the artists used the plasticity of the sunset and the way we experience it, both individually and collectively, to develop a relational aesthetic, questioning the rebirth and the sublime. Considering that the human being has always been more interested in sunsets than in their rises, these are seen here as a promise of the conclusion of all the dramas of the day. The artists deal with the universal experience of this cycle, belonging not only to humans, but also to all beings of the ocean and land since the beginning of time. This little death, little mourning of the day's deeds or defeats, brings people together during these short minutes of apocalyptic ecstasy.

What do people think about when they're staring at the sunset? I have a weird obsession with the ocean and its creatures. What do they do for fun? Do they know about Dua Lipa? Do they have bad days? Can they mute their peers?

I'm pretty sure a squid goes viral easier than a pigmy sperm whale, but a pigmy sperm whale has more followers than a sunfish. 

What about dolphins? Do they get sad when it's terrible weather? Do they gather with their loved ones in strategic places to watch the sun go down as well? Is the sea level rise kind of like gentrification? Do they have to move constantly in hopes of finding a better place to live?

Portuguese artist and illustrator Wasted Rita has been developing a critical and particularly intimate practice that explores her love-hate relationship with life and the world around her. The self-proclaimed “born agent provocateur” likes to think, write and draw, bringing to life little gems of sarcastic wisdom soaked in acid that reflect an unconventional upbringing in a Catholic high school set to Black Flag. Making use of a variety of media – including sculptural objects, installation, painting, drawing and writing – his unique voice shapes his scathing observations and poetic invectives about human behavior and contemporary culture. Since 2011, he has presented his work in a variety of contexts, including solo and group exhibitions in galleries, institutions and artistic events in several countries.

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Elea Jeanne Schmitter is a photographer, conceptual artist or researcher, maybe even a little of each, depending on the characters she plays, the rituals she imagines, the parts of life she recounts and the feelings she shares. Guided by an interest in systems of communion and conceptual groupings between people, her practice involves extensive research into the power and structure of secrecy and the precarious nature of truth. Elea Jeanne Schmitter explores immersion as a form of creation, irrational decisions as solutions and the unexpected as a revolving door to what is to come. The artist's work evolves through the process of a journey that is essentially utopian, of a narrative that presupposes a search: the search for true love, spirituality and political ideology.

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NAZARE - Tamara Alves & YZ

Under the title I:REVERSIBLE, for this mural, Portuguese artist Tamara Alves and French artist YZ conceptualized an allusion to the ancestral and mostly female practice of drying fish in Nazaré. As an extension of the content on this theme at the Centro Cultural da Nazaré, which aims to promote and preserve this legacy, the mural emphasizes this theme, giving it prominence in the open in the middle of the village. YZ developed a portrait of one of the last Nazarenes and holders of this unique knowledge, while Tamara Alves created a composition of a young woman, representing the possibilities of the future, in order to question our relationship with this heritage.

While YZ's intervention alerts us to the loss of this tradition, leading us to think about what can and should be done to preserve it, Tamara Alves works on ways to move forward, valuing the past and the work of these women, but representing a future where these female bodies have options, creating a new narrative where women are in full control of their decisions and choices, of their futures.

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Tamara Alves is a Portuguese artist and illustrator currently residing in Lisbon. He graduated in Fine Arts (ESADIPL) and did a Masters in Contemporary Artistic Practices, where the subject of the dissertation was “Public Activism in Urban Context”. Always interested in a type of art that is “inserted” in the world, fascinated by the aesthetics of the street and the urban context, Tamara prefers to ignore conventional spaces such as galleries or museums to present her work on the street or in public spaces. In her work, the erotic panorama of a contemporary body is represented with these effects of dilating the limits that constitute it. A raw passion instead of rational deliberation, a body-without-organs, an animal becoming, the sensations experienced, “hungry naked hysterics” (Allen Ginsberg). Presenting a visual language inspired by urban aesthetics, it uses supports with multifaceted characteristics – drawing, painting, ceramics or tattooing. Since 2000, he has participated in several projects, individual and collective exhibitions, and urban art interventions.

Yseult Digan aka YZ is a French-British artist whose work explores historical and political contexts linked to the realities of descendants of Caribbean slaves, African female soldiers and female figures from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds. His compositions, which vary in scale, medium and technique, represent an attempt to rehabilitate the image and positioning of groups obscured and mistreated by History. Her work has been presented at renowned institutions such as the Center Pompidou in Paris or the ArtScience Musuem in Singapore, and in 2017 she was chosen to give a new face to Marianne – the national personification of the French Republic – in her representation on postage stamps. : a reinterpretation that he titled “Marianne l'Engagée”. In 2019 she was invited by Eurotunnel to create two monumental works, one on each side of the English Channel. After having lived and worked for several years in Senegal and Ivory Coast, he currently resides in France.

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BORDEAUX – Add Fuel & L'Atlas
the portuguese artist Add Fuel (Diogo Machado) and the French artist L'Atlas (Jules Dedet Granel) created a public art intervention that combines the calligraphic signature of L'Atlas with the geometric language present in the aesthetics of the work of Add Fuel. By deconstructing the signature in geometric layers and replacing the gray that has come to take precedence in the French artist's work with blue and white, colors coherently present in the work of Add Fuel, established a balanced and symbiotic union of their particular aesthetics. Both expressed a deep concern with achieving a perceptible chromatic harmony, and this conceptual balance culminates in a dialogue of their singular visual forms in a single proposal.

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Add Fuel is Diogo Machado, Portuguese artist and illustrator. A former graphic designer, his recent artistic practice has focused on reinterpreting and playing with the traditional language of tile, and in particular that of Portuguese origin. Mixing traditional and contemporary elements, his original vector-based creations and street interventions using stencils reveal an impressive complexity and a mastery of attention to detail. Based on a combination of tessellations that create harmony from symmetrical repetitions and visual illusion techniques such as trompe-l'oeil, his compositions of multi-dimensional patterns create a poetic rhythm that plays with the observer's perception and the possibilities of interpretation. Since 2006, he has exhibited his work in individual and collective exhibitions, as well as participating in some of the world's main urban art events.

L'Atlas is the French artist Jules Dedet Granel. Having studied calligraphy in several countries and in multicultural contexts, research and writing represent starting points for his plastic and pictorial work. Creating original typography, L'Atlas is particularly fascinated by the idea of a universal language that has the ideal balance between form and letter, between act and intention. In the 90's he began to create interventions in public space, becoming widely recognized in the graffiti world. His studio work began to take shape in the early 2000s, leading to a series of gallery exhibitions of contemporary urban art. His artistic practice involves a systematic research and renewal of his approach to letters and lines, and to the codified rhythm of writing. Exploring the border of the unreadable, his work has become progressively more abstract and minimal. He has recently started to collaborate with urban planners to give his art a third dimension, thus accentuating the architectural component of his work.

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PORTO – ±MoreLess± & Rero

This installation by ±MaisMenos± and Rero questions the relationship with the positive and negative utopias of our time, trying to trace the boundary that divides them and that it is essential to reinvent.To question the dichotomy of utopias, each artist proposed an aphorism, writing it on the same medium, with the aim of creating a resonance and offering at the same time a thesis and an antithesis from which the spectator can draw their own conclusions. ±MoreLess± painted the hopeful words of Martin Luther King Jr. “I HAVE A DREAM” in his “Universe” typography as a message of love: a warm expression repeated endlessly like a mantra. In turn, Rero contrasts with the display of the expression “NOT TODAY” in LED, using a discreet graphic with its cold and contemporary aesthetic, which scratches as usual, to question the words in this context, thus establishing a short- circuit to the first utopian reading of ±MaisLess±. This dialogue between the two artists allows a permanent polysemic reading on the question of utopias, bringing them to the public space and to the urban fabric of the city, where they offer an alternative vision of the world, interrogate the spectator and invite him to reflect on the ambiguity of human existence and to be an active part of artistic thought.

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±MaisMenos± is an artistic intervention project by Portuguese artist and graphic designer Miguel Januário, which began as part of an academic thesis in 2005 and later took on a life of its own. It offers a critical reflection on the model of political, social and economic organization inherent in contemporary urban societies. Carrying out a clinical dissection of reality that plays with the system of dualities intrinsic to the western ideological edifice, the programmatic expression of the project is conceptually reduced to an equation of simplicity and excluding opposites: plus/minus, positive/negative, black/white. Under the banner ±MaisMenos±, the artist has produced thought-provoking and innovative work both indoors and out, in a variety of media – from video to sculptural installations, from painting to performance. In addition to the numerous illegal interventions in the field of public art carried out in several countries, the project has also been exhibited in individual and collective exhibitions in multiple contexts. His work is represented in several private collections.

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RERO's instantly recognizable work has an inherent fluidity, exploring an array of social concepts, from technology and consumerism to language and obsolescence. Breaking down barriers and moving away from the use of traditional surfaces for the implementation of their minimal statements, RERO's textual interventions, always executed in the same Verdana typography and devoid of any outcrop, explore confrontation, the aesthetics of destruction and the idea of appropriation. . Going through works on canvas, old books, neon, porcelain, sculptural busts, plasterboard walls, decaying newspapers, typewriters and flags, his most ambitious pieces are large-scale installations that use the gallery or museum space. as a place to explore notions of context and perceptions of space. RERO's works have been presented in a variety of public and private spaces, including the Center Pompidou, Musée en Herbe and Musée de la Poste, Confluences in Paris and Antje Øklesund in Berlin. More recently, his work has been exhibited all over France, the United States, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

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