BAIXA-CHIADO SUBWAY STATION
APRIL 12-14, 2000
Seen from Montreal the Lisbon subway remains a pure metaphor…a
subway seen in films, or one described on the telephone or
via e-mail by our Portugeese VideoLisboa partners. This led
to a desire to intervene in the city, and more specifically
to dig underground and set up a temporary storehouse for images
hailing from elsewhere. This insitu electronic art event—previously
presented in Montreal (September 1998) and in Paris (April
1999)— constitutes an extension of Champ Libre's nomadic
and tangible exploration of aesthetics, electronic art and
novel urban spaces such as the subway.
This project obliges us to build in the in-between spaces
of the connections and dreams of a city and its history;like
the meaning of an image that sweeps before us. An image in
transit, moving through the waves, electronic impulses, time
and the ocean. By its very nature video draws the outlines
of eclipsing realities whose meaning arises from a continuous
oscillation between light and darkness. In the daily journeys
of the subway riders we discover the same phenomenon—though
here it is profoundly anchored in the identity of each individual—a
roundtrip journey between one's private and public being.
The changing states of mind that result from the passage between
the subterranean and the surface in relation with a collective
urban activity call for a constant and simultaneous negotiation
between anonymity and the presence of being.
We chose the Baixa-Chiado station, which inspired us through
its architecture, its exits and the fact that it really is
under the water. This later fact is discreetly and persistemntly
brought to light through the station's structure and the continuous
flow of people—natural human rhytms which meet. This
artistic experience, which grows richer from one subway to
the next, will certainly allow the riders of the Lisbon subway
to make furtive and surprising encounters—something
that Champ Libre and VideoLisboa sincerely hope for.
|Visna Chau, François
Cormier, Patrick Evans, José Laplace, Karen Wong.