text: João Simões. voice: Lula Pena and João Simões. sound design: Ari de Carvalho
music: “Mortícia”, “The chequered flag”, Combustile Edison, 1996. “I’m such a small thing”, Funki Porcini, 1996
“(…) Miguel Soares is a science fiction artist, someone who makes futuristic works that comment on aspects of contemporary human life.
His Time for Space (2000) is perfect editorial on Portugal’s present moment. Like some futuristic tourism commercial, Soares’ frolicking UFOs call upon us to journey with them to fantastic places where we can finally gain an all-encompassing sense of belonging.
However, we are never made to feel sure what the purpose of belonging is. While the upbeat tone of the work indicates positive possibilities, there is a subtle undercurrent that suggests that we are being invited to some darker cultish or militaristic venture.
Soares’ delicious ambiguity relates back to the reason I felt the title Situation Zero was such an apropriate description of the state of portuguese contemporary artmaking: the possibilities of its future are promising yet unknown.”
René de Guzman, in Situation Zero: Recent Art from Portugal. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. San Francisco. USA, August 2001
In a society located in a distant future, the promises of happiness are packed with images and sounds of publicity: images of flying saucers flying over seas and crossing the universe are underlined by alienating music and the reading of a text promoting wonderful journeys into unknown worlds.
As one understands at the end of the video, the shift from a feminine voice to a masculine one signals the shift from an travel agency campaign into a military enrolment one.
The illusion of adventure and freedom co-exists with the nightmare of a dictatorial society aimed towards the control of individuals.
Miguel Wandschneider, in SlowMotion – Miguel Soares. exhibition depliant. ESTGAD+Art Attack. Caldas da Rainha. Portugal.