Sofia Pidwell

The voices and echoes

Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações, 2018


“Il y a un trou dans le réel” Dora Garcia


“The voices and echoes”, a piece by Sofia Pidwell at Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações, plays with the concepts of order and disorder, of imprisonment and emancipation in a performance that leaves traces.

The exhibition space is transformed into a scenographic atmosphere with metallic screens and meshwork activated by a punctual action, which takes place at the moment of the exhibition opening and which echoes throughout the exhibition. The choreography proposed by the artist is extremely simple, but by repeating it until exhaustion, Sofia wants to reveal weaknesses in the system in which we live.

Five bodies perform a repetitive circular motion. Nothing physical holds them back or informs their walk, yet they seem doomed to continue in this dynamic ad infinitum. There is no music or speech, just silence. But as in a silent film, conversations, noises and even thoughts can be imagined and felt. The sound seems to come from outside, in the form of a command for order, while at the same time comes from within, like a cry for help or a cry for freedom. Metaphorically, Sofia seems to want to denounce and rebel against the unseen totalitarian forces that create bonds, infiltrate and condition our being as well as our existence in the world.

As in “1984”, a dystopian novel by George Orwell, a great eye that controls everything is also present, orchestrating what appears to be a mecha- nical ballet. Everyone dresses and acts the same way, like numbered men, robotic men. Poetry arises at the moment when one of them breaks with the logic of the system and finds a possibility of emancipation. In that moment, the dynamic previously determined by a geometric grid becomes a ritual of evocation, transformation, cleansing and healing.

From entropy, Sofia raises questions, makes accusations, deconstructs maxims, questions paradigms and, above all, paves the way for changes. With gestures and images, without giving explanations or creating great speeches, she makes us look at realities and situations, for many, invisible. It makes us think that perhaps only the collective force is capable of breaking the status quo.

Isabella Lenzi