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Art & Public Space, Exhibitions & Events

Francisco Tropa: Scenario. Portuguese Pavilion – 54th Venice Biennale

“Scenario is an exhibition which articulates sculpture, image devices and fragments of nature. The general ambience is timeless and enigmatic, in which objects and images have a heuristic quality, seeking a sensitive and subjective understanding of the nature of things and consequently of the experience of creation and the origins of art.” Sérgio MahCurator

Francisco Tropa represents Portugal at the 54th Venice Biennale, with Scenario, an exhibition that alchemically transmutes and elevates the familiar and mundane into works of artThe title Scenario is a reference to a construction of space and indicates a suspended space, one that reignites our experience of creation and captivates our imagination to investigate the truth of nature and the origin of art. The exhibition is a passport into Tropa’s creative vision, allowing you to see the potential of art through the artist’s eyes.

The exhibition is housed in the Fondaco Marcello, a 16th/17th century Venetian warehouse next to the Grand Canal. Installed within this space are a variety of projection devices, which at their base reveal an object projected as a cinematic artwork, reminiscent of a magic lantern casting magnified shadow imagery. These include an hourglass; the incandescent filament from a light bulb; a dead fly; a dry leaf; and various situations in which water drops slowly from a thread, a small glass plate, a tube or a tiny bottle are projected either vertically or horizontally and metamorphose into spectral Man-Ray style rayographs. Interjecting the projected image and the installed screens are strategically placed tree trunks, wooden boards, planks and easels, which the curator refers to as ‘sculptural scenes’ contrasting with the projected imagery with their physical and symbolic presence.

Francisco Tropa was born in 1968 and lives and works in Lisbon. Since the early 90’s his artistic input has been focused mainly on sculpture as well as drawing, performing art, and more recently, photography and film.

Scenario is curated by Sérgio Mah for the Directorate-General for the Arts, Portuguese Ministry of Culture. Portuguese Pavilion at the 54th international art exhibition. La Bienniale di Venezia 2011. June 4th –  November 27th 2011. Venue: Fondaco Marcello, Calle del Traghetto o Ca’ Garzoni, San Marco 3415 Venezia

Images: Francisco Tropa,Scenario, 2011 © Pedro Tropa

Text: Nadine Talalla



Visual Artist based in London, U.K. whose artistic practise is explores identity issues through visual media. Nadine Talalla works working predominantly in video and painting.



  1. Pingback: Dalla biennale: Francisco Tropa « il piede in due scarpe - July 18, 2011

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