Galerias Municipais de Lisboa invite Supermala

Mar de Cristal
Henrique Loja, James Bantone, Sara Graça, Sofia Montanha and weecolors
07.07.21 - 11.07.21

Galerias Municipais of Lisbon are present at ARCOmadrid for the fourth consecutive year. Similar to previous presentations, Galerias Municipais’ booth features a group of artists that are not yet represented through commercial galleries. For the 2021 edition of the fair, Galerias Municipais and EGEAC Lisbon have invited Supermala, an artist-run initiative from Lisbon to curate their booth. Co-founded by Sofia Montanha and Henrique Loja in 2020, Supermala is a nomad multidisciplinary project intersecting curatorial practice and DIY fashion, hosting events across different art scenes in Europe. In 2021 they opened MALA, an exhibition space in Lisbon’s Ajuda neighbourhood.
Borrowing its title from the shimmering name of Mar de Cristal subway station situated close to the IFEMA fairground, this year’s exhibition greets fair visitors and friends with an invitation to convene at booth 9B27. Mar de Cristal has been especially conceived for the fair booth, where artists Sofia Montanha and Henrique Loja are presenting work alongside James Bantone, Sara Graça and weecolors.
During the past year, artist weecolors started drawing feelings embodied by flowers and animals. While home alone, their drawing practice is accompanied by the reading of poems and queer essays through online interactions on Instagram. The intricate drawings from their Tus ojos estan rojos (2021) series are presented adjacent to large digital Smell my feelings (2021) wallpaper prints by James Bantone. The artistic practice of Bantone constitutes a continuous exploration of mimetic desire through uncanny reproductions of the coded subtleties of gesture as they pertain to gender, sexuality, and race. Adjacent to the fair booth camping table and seating arrangement, Lisbon-based Sara Graça presents new cardboard sculptures from her Ratazanas e Calendários (2020-2021) series. Among other works, Henrique Loja’s sculptures Too too horny dead to live, to cum (2020-2021) pays homage to bygone picnic congregations. Departing from booth 9B27 and in line with the artist’s interest to combine the conceptual qualities of aesthetic trends as a media to test the possibilities of community building in contemporary visual culture, Sofia Montanha and other people connected to the project will be occasionally wearing textile sculptures around the fair.

Photo: Alvaro Chior, Courtesy of Mala, Galerias Municipais de Lisboa and the artists.