Fellowship awarded to Laetitia Morais for the project Missing for Ten Years
Honorable Mention: Pedro Sousa
Jury: Phill Niblock, Gerd Stern, Manuel Costa Cabral, Rui Eduardo Paes, Emanuel Dimas Pimenta, Rafael Toral and Isabel Alves
Missing for Ten Years
Missing for Ten Years revolves around concepts such as disappearance, fluctuation and the lack of references. The Portuguese Civil Code confers a Presumed Death to adults that remain absent for more than 10 years. Interestingly, this time frame varies from country to country, giving a circumstantial penchant to existence. This thought cuts through the last known work of the artist Bas Jan Ader (In Search of the Miraculous, 1975): after setting off to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone aboard a sailboat, he was reported missing, three weeks after his radio signal was lost. Taking Ader's journey as an allegory, Missing for Ten Years enunciates a state of anxiety as a result of the loss of a bond or natural habitat.
This work of performative – but also audio and objectual – nature consists in the artist's action of inducing electricity into several points of a platform made of sea salt. The electrical variations that result from the higher or lower densities of salt are emitted via radio to a computer, processing the sound composition. Gestuality is driven by a single task: to wither salt as a solid and yet invisible matter, present in the oceanic waters. At a certain point, the force exerted by the moving body causes the pressed salt to fracture. This moment is marked by six men who raise the platform, thus revealing a Mylar blanket punctuated by 10 portions of salt.
Laetitia Morais (Paris, 1984) graduated in Arts at Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade do Porto. She presented works in galleries and events from which may be referred: Faticart gallery, Rome; General Public, Berlin; Rewire, The Hague; Peacock Art Centre, Aberdeen; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Storung, Barcelona; Cyentart, Dresden; EME, Palmela; Mózg, Bydgoszcz; Bienal de Cerveira, Cerveira; Galeria Fábrica Features, Lisbon; EIF, New York. She also did set design for television and theater. She teaches at ESEC since 2008, and is a doctoral student at ZHDK (Zurich) and Kunstuniversität Linz.