GAL..lery presents Fake Extreme Art
Nuno SilasMonumento Zea
Saturday, 22 de october, 2022

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Nuno Silas

Monumento Zea

Galeria Ana Lama presents the 2nd Fake Extreme Art cycle in different places of Lisbon.
The performance by artist Nuno Silas, with the participation of Sin Wah Lai, will be held at the Quartel do Largo do Cabeço de Bola in partnership with @largoresidencias.

Making of #11 with the title “Monumento Zea”, will be an action made at the same time for an audience and for the cameras, having João Ramos as guest director, who will make the video recording and editing of the performance, to be later exhibited in digital format on the Ana Lama Gallery website.

Today, the expression “The emperor’s new clothes” (the king goes naked) no longer has the impact it once had, nor is nudity a taboo, nor do more or less clothing demonstrate consumer power. It is common to see cartoon stories about monarchs in the online “press”. 

Ironed shoelaces, toothpaste placed on toothbrushes, and special toilet seat covers: the most unusual routines and rituals. 

These caricatured habits of a current monarch, are part of the description in a news story of an online magazine, from September 13, 2022, posted at 4:52 pm.  Here, what caught my attention were the shoelaces. 

The minutia of it has to do with the act of someone ironing the laces, the laces of someone else’s shoes. 

By doing a search in the vast world of the Internet, you can find videos and tutorials demonstrating different ways to tie your shoe laces. Some are simple, some are very creative, and others are incredibly complex: there is certainly a bit of everything! 

It is a funny story, as is much of the news that reaches us daily – news that wanders between humor and some perversity. 

The event we present here consists of a live performance by Nuno Silas. 

I can’t get the ironed shoelaces out of my head. 

Nuno Silas explores the relationship between media, identity, and history, and seeks to question definitions of art. His practice includes installations, painting, and film, and he uses performance to create or reconstruct an artistic message, a kind of personal reality. Nuno Silas was born in Maputo, Mozambique, and lives between Germany, Mozambique and Portugal. 

His work explores and investigates negritude, which implies representing the black experience, proposing a reflection on physical, psychic and political elements of his condition.  He has created works that provide space for reflection in an imaginary, symbolic way, often suggesting ideas of suffocation, trauma and power. 

The artist also uses photography and painting in his works as artistic processes – he uses some of these elements in his installations and performances. He is interested in conceptual art rather than technical issues. In the making, there is a constant interaction between feelings and representation, using different experimental components that allow him to represent any texture of the surrounding realities that shape our society.

By observing his work, it is possible to identify ideas associated with the repetition of the “I”, in his works he often recreates his own image, but this image does not always represent himself. For example, he created with a set of 50 photographs, a mural. The project started with a self-portrait, an experiment, self-portraits that show a kind of reconstruction. He used his printer as a scanner and a box on the same printer, the images are black and white although some color appears in them.  Nuno Silas tells us that these images no longer belong to him, in this study about a certain fiction, the photographs are also a mirror of those who observe them. 

Nuno Silas says: “Thus, in my works I reflect on the process of resistance and negotiation of space, not as an activist, but as an artist, questioning the reasons why the phenomenology of black people is often associated with the struggle, surrounded by an atmosphere of uncertainty. Sometimes my work deals with imaginary representational feelings, and sometimes I try to avoid overthinking, as I work with inner impulses – rephotographing, overlaying, pixelating my portraiture – to create layers and visual representations associated with a sense of desire, of stifled bodies, and occasionally of spiritual forces operating within bodies.” 

There is news that makes us suffer, and then there is news that capitalizes on suffering, reversing it and promoting the most pointless abstraction in the entertainment industry. One example of this: it seems that there is a soccer player from one of the best teams in the world who doesn’t know how to tie his shoes and always plays with his shoelaces untied, not out of superstition,as a lucky charm, but because, at the age of 17, he really doesn’t know how to tie his shoes. 

In the Ana Lama Gallery project, Nuno Silas collaborates in the presentation of the next performance, entitled Monumento Zea, with multimedia artist Sin Wah Lai, to build a video with which he will interact. The artist is a native of Hong Kong. Her artistic practice mainly takes the form of collage, multimedia installation, performance, interactive experience, and socially committed projects. 

Nuno Silas has lived in several countries and continents, and this shapes his practice in relation to the techniques he explores. 


The cycle organized by Galeria Ana Lama takes place in a mixed format, in person and online, between September 2022 and February 2023. It will have six events with the participation of international artists; each event will feature a live performance presentation, which will be

recorded, filmed, in real time and later also presented digitally on the Gallery’s website. 

As a side note I must confess… The direction of this project, as part of it,  I myself am guilty, feels perplexed because the curator to which the project pays tribute, Ana Lama (me), guest performers and directors, are always creating conditions and labels, restraining the actors from working freely. Ana Lama (me) tries to condition in the sense that historical pieces or pieces that look like historical pieces are created. For example, she says that the goal of the films (which will later be available on the Internet) is to execute avant-garde cinema, in an effort to overcome the stereotypes of commercial cinema, and to achieve the free use of the means of cinematographic expression.  I want the films in the end to come out like the Fluxus group experiences, things already made in 1962, more than 60 years ago, things made by George Maciunas in New York, films made by a transdisciplinary network of artists who, in the wake of Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, wanted to propose what they believed to be a new link between art and life. Ana Lama (me) thinks that these Fluxus films are very contemporary and can be a reference of the historical transformations that helps to break the compositional model of the avant-garde cinema, forcing them to always discuss three main ideas. These ideas are: monoformism, the score of events, and environmentalism. 

But, of course, the direction of the project does not accept formal prisons of any kind that fall upon the participants. 

The performance by artist Nuno Silas, with the participation of a video by Sin Wah Lai, will take place at the barracks in Largo do Cabeço de Bola. It will be an action made both for an audience and for the cameras, with João Ramos as guest director, who will register and edit the video of the performance, to be shown in digital format on the gallery’s website. 

The simple fact of not knowing how to tie his shoelaces, as explained by the coach of one of the biggest soccer teams in the world, is explained this way: the 17-year-old had trouble learning how to tie his shoelaces while growing up and got into the habit of playing with them untied. 

After a draw, 1-1, in a closely contested match with Team X in December 2021, in which the player played a leading role, the coach explained: “The player has been playing with his shoelaces untied since he was very young, and this is because he doesn’t know how to tie them well. He doesn’t know, he doesn’t care, and he plays like that.”

Zea, like a kind of grass domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in Prehistory, is similar to a shared ideology that today has been distributed and applied worldwide among human beings. 

In the piece Monumento Zea, to be presented in Lisbon on October 22nd, the artists will demonstrate multiple layers and atmospheres, sounds and experimental video montages, crossing found objects and archive material, in an attempt to rescue involuntary memories and violence. 

This will be an exploratory performance piece with invented rituals and manifestations, overlapping stories of identities and power, in a transformation that deals with intangible issues and the concrete world, intersecting personal narratives and representations. 

Coming from ritualistic customs and flows, the recitations, invisible tracks, and shamanic conditions return in the form of an echo or a sculpture. The artists propose a reflection on the world we live in – the future and the present – in dialogue with inner and outer perception. 

And now a possible agenda of future events for the performer: 

Nuno Silas does not wear laces in his shoes and orders the laces from a European monarch – the laces that have to be ironed – via the communication department of that institution.  He orders the laces from a king, the laces that he wears for ten years. After they are worn, the artist keeps them and uses them in one of his immersive performance installations at the Tate Modern in London. 


Ana Lama, 

Cayman Islands, 12/10/2022




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