EDGE Projects 13-19 Herald Street Bethnal Green E2 6JT Exhibition Dates | 1st – 17th March 2017
Mónica de Miranda is an artist and researcher. Her work is based on themes of urban archaeology and personal geographies. Mónica was born in Portugal of Angolan heritage and has a visual art degree from Camberwell College of Arts (London, 1998); a Master’s degree in art and education at the Institute of Education (London, 2000) and a PhD in visual art from the University of Middlesex (London, 2014). She has received the support from the Foundation for Science and Technology. Monica is currently developing her research project, Post- archive, at CEC (Centre of Comparative Studies, University of Lisbon).
The video work Crosswinds was born out of the research project, Post-archive, which draws on the Colonial Archive of the 60’s and 70’s. The Colonial Archive contains records of the lives of people who lived in Portuguese colonies – including Angola and Cape Verde – from which much of the documentation contributing to the artwork was sourced. The ballet dancers who were recorded performing outdoors in public locations in the city of Praia in Cape Verde, perform a double sense of belonging to a cultural form seen usually as part of a western tradition. Here, deconstructed into another place of reference, it becomes a double signifier.
Monica creates narratives that draw on cultural diversity and a celebration of ‘difference’ – particularly those cultures from with which she, personally is directly associated – Angolan and Portuguese; past and present. She consciously denies any reference to stereotypes through definition and instead is driven by the multi-layered complexities of similarities and difference as demonstrated through personal and civic action, through family records of heritage and belief, through site reflections of human activity – construction/destruction. The ambiguity of existence, which pervades many diasporas the world over, generates a questioning of identity that may or may not be resolved through drawing on the past. More often than not, the reality of existing in a location or culture divorced from the ‘original’ creates another sense of being, comprising elements of the past and the present; the original and the adopted.
In Mónica’s own words:
By definition, a crosswind is any wind that has a perpendicular component to the line or direction of travel. In the context of this work, the title, Crosswinds works as a symbol of crossed ‘pollinations’ of cultures and identities.
Crosswinds is an art work that conceals many worlds - the world of the past and the present - memories of a colonial past that is a ruin which constructs the identity of a postcolonial present. It is a crossed geography that plays with the dichotomy of being in between different locations.
Mónica is one of the founders of the artistic project of residences Triangle Network in Portugal, and the founder of the Project Hangar (Center of Artistic Research), Lisbon, 2014. She was nominated for Novo Banco Photo Prize and exhibited at Museu Berardo, Lisbon (2016), nominated for Prix Pictet Photo Award (2016) and exhibited at Photo Paris (2013), Arco Madrid (2013), and Arco Lisboa (2016). Mónica's recent solo exhibitions include: Arrivals and departures (Palácio D. Manuel, Évora, 2016), Hotel Globo (Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, Lisbon, 2015) Arquipélago (Galeria Carlos Carvalho, Lisbon, 2014). Her collective exhibitions include: Contemporary African Art and Aesthetics of Translations Dakar Biennial (Dakar, 2016); Telling Time (Rencontres de Bamako Biennale Africaine de la Photographie 10 éme edition, Bamako, 2015); Ilha de São Jorge (14th Biennial of Architecture of Veneza, 2014). Mónica has participated in various residencies such as: Artchipelago (French Institute, Mauritius, 2014), Verbal Eyes (Tate Britain, London, 2009), Muyehlekete (Museu Nacional de Arte, Maputo, 2008), Living Together (British Council/Iniva, Georgia/London, 2008). She has exhibited regularly and internationally since 2004. Her work is represented in private and public collections.