Dip me in the river, drop me in the water! brings together a series of works by artists born in the ‘80s and ‘90s, in various formats including painting, sculpture, video, installation, and photography.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the song ‘Take me to the river,’ a classic composed by Al Green and later performed by Talking Heads. Echoing the words of lead singer David Byrne, it is ‘a song that combines teenage lust with baptism. Not equates, you understand, but throws them in the same stew, at least.’
In the same way, the relationships created here between the works are also indicative of a desire for expansion by means of provocation, voice, humour, and, at the same time, immersion, recalling the need for and importance of delay. Because it is in this void that we are able to assimilate flows of thoughts or internalise processes of healing, of renovation. After all, we know there are auspicious paths that we try to follow after periods of turmoil: clues, signs, and breaks so that the freshness of the water can also permeate the shadows.
Like an initiation ritual, we think now about how the verb ‘to be born’ can be used at every stage of our journey. If we would rather regard that task as complete – and, yet, the act of being born is interminable, unfinished, inexcusable – there is something akin to a somersault of fervor when we accept this incessant challenge. Periods of germinating, emerging, sprouting, harvesting, or purging are powerful metaphors for life, for artistic practice.
Rather than artists as bearers of novelty, the challenge is to retain the gaze. The possibility of building affinities against the current.
Essentially, let us dive in as the summer gets hot – and let each work reveal itself.
Acknowledgements: Henrique Pavão, Filipa Oliveira, Diogo Bolota, Catarina Portugal, Fernão Cruz