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João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Onça Geométrica (Geometric Ounce), 2013, five projectors, 16-mm films (color, silent, various durations). Installation view.

João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva

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João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Onça Geométrica (Geometric Ounce), 2013, five projectors, 16-mm films (color, silent, various durations). Installation view.

The works in “Onça Geométrica” (Geometric Ounce), the recent exhibition by João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, take their inspiration from daily life, literature, philosophy, and the artists’ own fertile imaginations. In this, they are much like the duo’s earlier films, photographs, and sculptures, such as those included in the 2009 Venice Biennale, where the pair represented Portugal, and the most recent one, curated by Massimiliano Gioni. The artists’ eclectic repertoire of sources ranges from Sextus Propertius and Plautus through Victor Hugo and Alfred Jarry to Jorge Luis Borges and René Daumal, from whose 1938 novel A Night of Serious Drinking they’ve borrowed the term abyssology, the study of the abyss, applying it to their creative practice. The subjects Gusmão and Paiva examine manifest many more meanings than might initially meet the eye, attesting to the dense semantic

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