Alien Theory, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva


Film, video

Alien Theory, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva

Past: September 22 → November 20, 2011

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Le Frac Ile-de-France/ Le Plateau is presenting Alien Theory,the first solo show in France of the Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão et Pedro Paiva.

Since 2001, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva have been introducing what they themselves describe as the writing of a “poetic philosophical fiction”, by way of installations, objects and short films.

Influenced by science fiction, ethnography and the occult sciences and paranormal phenomena, their silent short films question the boundaries of perception through small enigmatic scenarios, forever wavering between reality and fiction, wit and poetry. These films, which are very low budget, with low-tech special effects, deliberately reveal to us the mainsprings of their making.

If, at first glance, their approach seems to have a scientific character, it actually turns out to be more akin to the pataphysics of Alfred Jarry, ironically appropriating the investigative methods of archaeology and anthropology.

In tandem with their visual work, since 2005 they have been publishing the philosophical review Eflúvio Magnético, which covers the vast range of their different research and work.

At Le Plateau, the exhibition will plunge visitors into a succession of dark rooms where, like so many apparitions confirming the deeply magical nature of their method, they will discover a series of short films as well as several particularly disquieting camera obscuras.

Through these different works—at once pieces produced over the past few years and brand new productions executed in particular during two residencies in Africa last summer—João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva focus especially on presenting the figure of the animal and its relationship to man in a decidedly cosmic environment.

João Maria Gusmão (1979) and Pedro Paiva (1977) represented Portugal at the 2009 Venice Biennale. They have had monographic exhibitions in many museums and contemporary art centres, including the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, the Kunstverein in Hanover, the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, the Museu de Arte Contemporâneo of Castilla y Leon, the Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm, the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon … They have taken part in international events and shows such as the Gwangju Biennial in 2010, Manifesta in 2008, the Mercolsul Biennial at Porto Alegre in 2007, and the Sao Paulo Biennial in 2006.

  • Opening Wednesday, September 21, 2011 6 PM → 9 PM
19 Paris 19 Zoom in 19 Paris 19 Zoom out

22 rue des Alouettes

75019 Paris

T. 01 76 21 13 41


Opening hours

Wednesday – Sunday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Late night and drinks : 1st Wednesday of each month (except opening dates) until 9pm

Admission fee

Free entrance

Venue schedule