Rui Calçada Bastos, Love Map, Walking Distance, 2016. View of the exhibition Rui Calçada Bastos. Walking Distance, MAAT, 2016. Fotografia: Bruno Lopes
Rui Calçada Bastos obsessively records his journey in the world, and this exhibition is made up of fragments from those records. The artist photographs and films abandoned artefacts, small everyday scenes where the local becomes global, details in construction sites or more open landscapes, but always in a fragmented way. He also collects pieces from his urban environment which take on the roles of sculptures and which he reassembles as art installations. His approach is that of a visual predator rather than a mere voyeur — he steals, he doesn’t simply watch; he assembles unexpected parts of reality, he doesn’t merely collect them; and he gathers the conditions necessary for his work, when considered as a whole, to surpass the idea of sheer accumulation of disperse, repetitive and vertiginous episodes, and to present itself as a long and complex poetic unity. The artist is at the epicentre of all his works: he watches and lives in the space occupied by that world run by passion or by love impulses that can be directed at both people and aesthetically-relevant situations.
There is, however a rupture that brings each of these trivial images to another level of understanding, i.e., the question of autobiography. The artist is at the centre of every work: what he offers is framed out and selected by his subjective gaze. The artist sees and moves in the space of that world (his world) propelled by passion, by the impulse of love, and these guide him into the territories of mystery and the unexpected. Following and creating his own Love Map, knowledge of himself his sought in the knowledge of the Other. The territory of otherness and difference is always strange, it is that very strangeness that attracts and repels following rhythms that are impossible to establish, but are determined by the insatiable desire to circumscribe and conquer it.