Queer paper gardens or the Wildlife of symbols
Published on the occasion of Queer paper gardens/ Estranhos Jardins de Papel at Museu da Eletricidade / Cinzeiro 8 / colour offset all artwork & texts: paula roush & maria lusitano + text by guest writer cristina duarte
Text (Vols I-IV) Les deux amies / The two girlfriends (Gifts of the Feminine), The mise-en-scéne of the unconscious (A Week of Goodness), The photoalbum in the drawing room (cardomania), the album of Madame B., The paper mosaick (Female cruising in the garden) by paula roush and maria lusitano
Text (Vol V) a journal of one’s own, a text dedicated to mary, margaret, valentine, alice, paula, maria and all the other women by cristina duarte
SLIPCASE EDITION WITH SILKCSREEN PRINT
Five softcover volumes, in a customised, numbered and signed grey board slipcase, with a numbered and signed silkscreen, book dimensions when closed: 21 cm x 29.7 cm, offset printed in munken pure paper 150 gr., edition of 100
Estranhos Jardins de Papel / Queer Paper Gardens approaches the history of collage through a combination of artistic research with historic and visual enquiry. Departing from an installation made up of a collage-salon, two artists’ books, two double-screen video-essays and two large-scale charcoal drawings, the project integrates a variety of literary and visual narratives, that interweave fiction with historical archives.
The project focuses on several works of collage, created across three centuries, which range from Flora Delanica (1772-1782), Mary Delany’s botanical collage work, considered a pioneering instance of collage on paper, to the photographic collages of the Victorian era and, finally, to the Modernist collage-novels that constitute the exhibition’s fulcrum: Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de Bonté (1934), and Valentine Penrose’s Dons des Féminines (1951).
Revisiting all these works brings out a number of visual and textual narratives that explore the concept of journey: a journey through the history of collage and a delocalisation in time – something quite appropriate to the inherent features of the collage technique; and a journey through the exotic as a space for freedom, allowing for playful experimentation in opposition to the repressive and reclusive environment of bourgeois home life.
The crossing and mixing of the aforementioned sources, together with the various stories they tell, generate a means to approach several contemporary sexuality-related issues, namely those concerning the contructions of gender.