Essay on Unsheltered Bodies | 2007-2008


“The limits are imaginary, except for walls... Frontiers are invented every day.” (from the video)

In my practice, I usually examine issues related to language, identity, boundaries of personal and social spaces, and the definition of physical and psychic territory, through collaboration and performance. Essay on Unsheltered Bodies is artistic documentary project that addresses ideas of one’s placement and displacement in an expanding world, the problematic of boundaries, and frontiers. The notion of homelessness was indeed the key departure point for such an experimentation that is poetically and conceptually charged. Based on some footage from Los Angeles (California), this piece embraces ethnographic-anthropological strategies as well as tackles with political issues around the notion of ‘unshelteredness’. I appropriate such concept in a broader perspective: one that is close to the struggle in finding a place in the world, and related to the dialectics between home and exile (be the latter physical, bodily, emotional, or psychological). Does the state of estrangement exist as a sort of consequence, essential substance, or as a residue? Overall, my attempt with this creative and reflexive piece is to bring personal and collective elements of displacement, pain, loss, and anxiety that might derive from a current human condition in increasing unfair societies.

“To talk about José Carlos Teixeira’s work is the same as talking about something that is alive, fascinates us, and make us move. Organical matter, life in transformation. In “essay on unsheltered bodies” what at a first glance might have seemed contemplation, it is not. The discourse and the mechanism employed is common to the documentary language, but also comes from poetry, from the tradition of painting, from installation, performance and music. The reality is complex. It urges an sharp and active intervention. With no long ways or soft talks. These electric shadows are not telling stories. They speak about their experiences. They are afterall imprecise shapes or feraless introspections that embrace reality, in movement. The Essay has an introduction, but has got no end.” Baeta, João.


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   josé carlos teixeira