João Onofre presents a new site-specific performative installation conceived for the iconic Boiler Hall in the Tejo Power Station building. This new work takes its cue from the history of the space as a key provider of light for the city of Lisbon, but also as a showcase of the most advanced technology. The towering presence of the boilers as well as the monumental proportions of the space were also a great source of inspiration.
Using the sun as both a source of Light and energy, Onofre revisits the notion of the power station, this time using it as both stage and instrument.
Proceeding with his recent research on the relationship between sound and space, Onofre has devised a real-time sound performance.Using the body of the boilers as instruments, a set of motorized drumsticks and other related devices perform a musical score in real time. The speed and strength at which they interpret that score is predicated by the position of the sun as well as the weather conditions: a light detection system relays back the intensity of the sunrays, thus determining the shape of the performance, which will therefore always be different.
The returning visitor will therefore be able to experience in real-time changes brought by elements that are essential to nature, which our modern lifestyle has almost completely obliterated. Indeed, most people, and certainly urban dwellers, have ceased to have any sense of seasons, barely noticing the lengthening and shortening of days, or the angle of the sun in the sky. With this new work, João Onofre materializes in a very compelling fashion the way these aspects affect us all. More than in any other piece in his body of work, the passing of time is key to this new installation.