Paper short abstract:
A presentation of the Atlas: MATRIX*, a site-specific installation born from the collaboration of an artist and an anthropologist, opens up for new reflections on research processes, collaborations and the subtle and intricate ramifications of colonial legacies in Lisbon.
Paper long abstract:
In 2017 Lisbon-based EBANO Collective hosted the first international encounter of #Colleex, a network for ethnographic experimentation and collaboration, in the Tropical Garden of Lisbon, with the intent to raise awareness on the unproblematized colonial past in which the garden is imbued.
Atlas: MATRIX was a site-specific installation developed for the occasion by the authors of this presentation, an anthropologist (member of EBANO) and an artist that individuated in the matrix - an object or concept from where something originates - a common element of their different research paths, one focusing on archives of maternal bodies in Lisbon, the other on material structures that originate shapes and modulate or domesticate tridimensional surfaces. A reflection on the multiple declinations of the matrix, from the uterus of mid-19th-century midwifery to the fragments from which ceramic objects may take shape, from geological structures to architectonic models, set the base for the installation.
Combining original artistic objects (ceramics) and experimental fieldwork's devices (pregnant belly casts) with materials from the Tropical Garden partly archived (maps and soil charts from ex-Portuguese colonies), partly abandoned in the colonial pavilions (drawers, colonial woods), the installation enabled the spectators to play with the elements to create new narratives and explore multiple declinations of the matrix, while highlighting the subtle and intricate ramifications of colonial legacies. In this presentation, we propose to reflect on our collaboration that put into dialogue the materiality of the data with the research processes, bringing the audience as active participants of the work-in-progress.
Doing, making, collaborating: art as anthropology