Miguel Palma, Clarity, 2008, Natural History Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
No bullets shoot from the gun stationed in front of the rotating doll house and projection, but the replicated sound was still enough to keep me from walking anywhere near Miguel Palma‘s Clarity [youtube video here]. Other viewers seemed to feel the same way– another journalist standing at the opposite corner of the room from me kept a comical distance from the piece as he attempted to take notes. The projection documenting the damage from within as the shots were fired only seemed to heighten this anxiety.
I saw Miguel Palma’s work while I visited Lisbon this December and was particularly moved by how quickly fear destroyed any sense of a constructed cinematic narrative. Why is the house being shot? Who lived there? What are their stories? We don’t know but more to the point, we no longer care. The power within this piece lies in its erasure of narratives typically so strong we can’t imagine their absence.
Born in 1964, Miguel Palma is a multi-media artist who lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. His work explores matters related with the world’s hurried technological development, proposing alternative (and ironic) paths to this hunger of new. Selected previous venues include the Berardo Museum, Lisbon; the Serralves Museum, Oporto; Prospect.1 — New Orleans Art Biennial; and Location One, New York.
Palma is represented by Baginsky, Lisbon. His show Comma 01 will open in Bloomberg Space London March 4, 2009, and in the Spring of 2009 he will be at the Headlands Residency — Center for the Arts, completing a two month residency.