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Emily Wardill – Hourless and at large

18th February 2023 to 1st October 2023

Emily Wardill

Hourless and at large

Opening: February 18, 2023

6 – 9:30 pm

Casa São Roque – Centro de Arte

Rua São Roque da Lameira 2092, Porto

For her solo show Hourless and at large, Emily Wardill presents works from fourteen years ago to the present day – reflecting on connections and dissonances within them and the role that the imaginary plays in our relationship to the material world. Game Keepers without Game (2009) is presented alongside her last film work Night for Day (2020), both of which use the conjecture of family to talk about generational shifts in ideology and the strange two-way membrane between ourselves and the objects modelled in our image. Stretching this influence into the architecture of Casa São Roque, Wardill litters objects around that fluctuate between being props, status symbols, evidence of crime and fictitious remains. Executed specially for this exhibition, a new commission Sleep Patterns and Musical Chairs (2023) takes the imaginary of the nation state – projecting the patterns that car headlights make on our ceiling at night across three of the rooms whilst woozy musical interpretations of anthems bleed in through the walls (played on the piano by Daniel Bernardes). The architecture of Casa São Roque becomes a part of the piece through these accidental moving highlights. A series of relief sculptures Through the Walls (2016) reveal themselves as we walk around the exhibition: A House, Noh Costume, Polar Bear Cub – all taken from the titles of origami pieces. In the series Children or Animals frames don’t respect the boundaries of conventional framing – just as walls can be passed through as though they were digital. I gave my love a cherry that had no stone (2016) was filmed with a drone that was pretending to be human and a human pretending to be a drone. It takes us into the body of the dancer David Marques which has become indistinguishable from a digital body and who moves through space as though he were CGI (computer-generated imagery). The exhibition, like the house itself – sits within histories imagining futures – everything planning an escape route from the time it finds itself in. Everything hourless and at large.

Emily Wardill was born in England in 1977. She studied at Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design in London. In 2010 Wardill was awarded the Jarman Award, in 2011 the Philip Leverhulme Prize, and in 2021 the EMAF Award. She had solo exhibitions at  Rialto 6 (2022) Secession, Vienna (2020), Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Project Spaces), Lisbon (2017), INDEX, Stockholm (2014), de Appel, Amsterdam (2012), The MIT List Visual Arts Centre, Boston (2010), ICA, London (2008), among others. Her work has been included in group shows at Serpentine Gallery, London; Tate Britain, London; Witte de With, Rotterdam; MUMOK, Vienna; Hayward Gallery, London; MOCA, Miami; as well as many film festivals including Berlinale (Forum Expanded) and Oberhausen Film Festival. In 2011 she participated in the 54th Venice Biennale (International Art Exhibition ILLUMInations) and in 2014 in the 19th Sydney Biennale. Her practice has run parallel with many years of teaching art at university level, and will be discussed in her current PhD project The Imagined Image at Malmö Art Academy. Hourless and at large is her second solo show in Porto after The Third Person (A Terceira Pessoa) organized by Nathalie Ahbeck and Luisa Mota at Artes in 2012, which was also a residency and her first visit to Portugal. She first came to Lisbon through a screening organised by Kunsthalle Lissabon at Nimas Cinema of her film Fulll Firearms.  Since 2014 she is based in Lisbon.

The new commission Sleep Patterns and Musical Chairs was produced within the programme of ”la Caixa” Foundation, Support for Creation’22: Production.

Curated by Barbara Piwowarska