Entitled “Animal Farm”, this first solo exhibition by João Maria Gusmão in New York, after almost two decades of collaboration with the artist Pedro Paiva, will be on 99 Canal until March 3 and will have a second presentation in Lisbon in May, according to the Zé dos Bois Gallery (ZDB).

Through more than a dozen new projections on 16mm film, the public is invited to explore “the most recent achievements of a long investigation into analogue media and analogue concepts”, in a “zoopoetic journey towards an ecological distance from the landscape rural extractive sector”, according to a statement from ZDB, responsible for production.

For this project – whose presentation is curated by Marco Bene – João Maria Gusmão created a distinct approach to his work, “shaping instances of aesthetic contemplation and anchoring them in the circadian cadence of the metropolis”.

At the same time that he compares it with the theme of the homonymous story by George Orwell (1903-1950), the Portuguese artist presents a structuralist enigma: “The spectral nature of the cinematic medium, pointing us to a strange phenomenology; a kind of haunting - the study of the nature of what lies between being and non-being among the ranch's domesticated and wild creatures.”

Over the last twenty years, João Maria Gusmão, born in Lisbon in 1979, has developed a set of practices that range from experimental cinema to photography, sculpture and drawing, and which extend to literature, exhibition curation and to editing.

Gusmão's research lies at the crossroads between a metaphysical reflection on the aesthetics of photography and primitive cinema, a conceptual analysis of the analogue medium, the revival of certain modernist experiences in literature and particular currents in contemporary philosophy.

His work is included in several collections of international museums, including the Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, in Spain, the Center Georges Pompidou, in France, the Tate Modern Gallery, in the United Kingdom, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the United States, the Nouveau Musée National of Monaco and the Serralves Museum, in Porto.

In addition to the collaboration with Pedro Paiva, Gusmão has established long-standing partnerships with other agents in the field of contemporary art, creating content and written material for projects with curator Natxo Checa and ZDB, and collaborating with artists such as Alexandre Estrela, Mattia Denisse and Gonçalo Pity.