On Saturday 9th November, Tabakalera will present two new exhibitions at Tabakalera. On the one hand, Cotton Algorithms, a solo show by Portuguese artist and filmmaker Filipa César, and on the other, the collective exhibition titled On Fail[e]d Tales and Ta[y]lors by Madrassa Collective. The latter was chosen during the curatorship call made by Tabakalera in 2017, and this exhibition is the result of the research they carried out.

These two projects share in common their collective nature, as the starting point and the basic methodology of their artistic practices are collective. On the other hand, their interest focuses on post-colonial and cross-border discourses. In parallel to the exhibitions, during the next months Tabakalera will host a public programme linked to both projects, which will begin during the opening weekend.

Cotton Algorithms. Filipa César

Cotton Algorithms is the title of the new exhibition that Filipa César (Oporto, 1975) presents in Tabakalera. A title that refers to the artist’s desire to explore the common space shared by technologies, both analogical and digital, under the regime of colonial domination.

The artist and filmmaker focuses her attention on the fictitious aspects of the documentary, and on the boundaries between the cinema and its reception. Her interest in the colonial past of her country of origin, Portugal, has led her to question the ability of historical and systemic narratives to shape and determine human consciousness. Since 2011 she has been researching the origins of the African Liberation Movement’s cinema in Guinea Bissau as a laboratory of resistance to dominant narratives.

That same year she embarks on the long-distance collective project Luta ca caba inda (The struggle is not yet over), which traces a genealogical journey through the origins and promises of activist cinema in Guinea Bissau through its archive.

The exhibition Cotton Algorithms includes her latest project, “Looming Creole”*. It is an installation and a film essay in which the artist relates Creole languages and weaving techniques in Guinea Bissau and shows us the codes of subversion hidden behind them. The exhibition is completed with two previous audiovisual works: The Embassy (2011) and Cacheu (2012).
*”Looming Creole” is a coproduction made by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon) and Tabakalera (Donostia /San Sebastián).

On Fail[l]ed Tales and Ta[y]lors. Curated by Madrassa Collective

With Grupo Etcétera, Oda Projesi, Yasmina Reggad, Suspended Spaces, Ala Younis y Sofiane Zouggar.

“We are all errorists” declares the International Errorist Movement, a transnational assemblage of artists, activists and intellectuals grounded on error as a condition to think and do radically otherwise.

In resonance with them, On Fail[l]ed Tales and Ta[y]lors adopts failure, error, incompleteness and exhaustion as a matrix to examine the unfolding of some of the utopias of both the past century and current times. By bringing on-board artists and collectives that embrace failure as a catalyst of their practice, the exhibition also sets a frame from which to engage the possibility (or impossibility) for new radical imaginaries, forms of solidarity and utopias to come to form.

As a transnational and transdisciplinary curatorial collective, Madrassa operates within and across different languages, interpreting and possibly mis-interpreting, words, worlds and the meanings they may unveil. This is why the very intentions of this exhibition are playfully (mis)spelled in its own title.

On Fail[l]ed Tales and Ta[y]lors is meant in fact as a collective tailoring process, composing a narrative that weaves together histories of failure and stories with failles. Such a narrative braids together past and present modernist, progressive and productive projects, that carried competing, yet the dominating world-views. Moreover it enlists those unfinished, collapsed, censored or misread political and cultural ventures that attempted to tell stories otherwise or propose alternative forms of seeing, saying and doing.