Critics’ Picks

View of Marcius Galas’s “Exercício de divisão,” 2018.

View of Marcius Galas’s “Exercício de divisão,” 2018.

Lisbon

Marcius Galan

Galeria Francisco Fino
Rua Capitão Leitão 76
September 20–November 8, 2018

Entering Marcius Galan’s installation Exercício de divisão (Exercise of Division) (all works 2018) feels like stepping into a mirror. In the white industrial space of the gallery, various objects surround the visitor: minimal wooden frames slanted against the wall or arranged on the floor; glass; bent iron rods that hang from the ceiling’s beams or twist toward it from the floor. Galan’s symmetrical environment splits the hall in two, creating one big mirror in trompe l’oeil. Upon closer inspection, other optical illusions appear. There is no glass, only faint variations in the wall and floor paint. The shadows are shams, too. All you need is some perspective.

In the back room, smaller, numbered photographs from a separate series that shares the installation’s title depict studies of symmetrical arrangements of objects, foam, wood, and small sculptures that contextualize the main room’s trickery. But there is something pleasurable in being deceived, something startling in the realization of how humble constructions so easily scuttle our sense of reality. Unlike Felice Varini’s painted geometries, Galan’s works click into wholeness from more than one vantage. To find them, we’re left to scramble about. And while transforming the space only through subtle alterations, Galan’s installation relies on a vocabulary similar to the more ambitious anarchitectures of Gordon Matta-Clark. Here, impact settles in slowly. Visitors will likely find themselves checking and rechecking their surroundings, seeing what else they’ve filtered out, what else lies beneath the surface of sight.