Papagaio, in Portuguese, means "speaking in other languages." Today is also the title of a new retrospective opened yesterday at the HangarBicocca dedicated to the young Portuguese artistic duo João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva

Thirty-six films, many never screened before, and three installations create a kaleidoscopic vision of striking images that introduces a new way of perceiving the world; the exhibition offers a “poetic-philosophical” narrative as the artists themselves call it.

The works of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva generally have strong links to the origins of cinema and to the experimental films of the 1960s and 1970s: on the one hand the documentary tradition of the Lumière brothers, on the other, more predominant side, there is the “magical” tradition attributed to Georges Méliès, who is widely regarded as the “father” of special effects, and who was the true inventor of science-fiction and fantasy films.

The exhibition programme created ad hoc for the HangarBicocca and curated by Vicente Todolí investigates the most inscrutable fragments of reality and brings to life a realistic world of the imagination with visions that are at times documentary, at times para-scientific, where the viewer can move freely around the space in a dynamic experience.

The exhibition, the biggest ever created in Italy, has nothing to envy to the presence (unforgettable) of their films at the Arsenale during the last Venice Biennale, or even as the Portuguese representation at the 53rd Biennial in 2009.


Open until October 26, 2014.


Text by Emanuela Virago