Leave the gallery and you will arrive at a rhetorical junction, or is Rua Nelson de Barros intersecting Rua Madre Deus? Head down the street, walk past the museum, turn right, cross the high speed lanes and take the 728 bus towards Avenida dos Descobrimentos. You’ll be driven along the river Tejo, going upstream, gazing at a body of water I once thought to be the Atlantic Ocean. Alas, no New York, no Los Angeles, no Rio de Janeiro, only more of the same continent. You will enter it slightly sideways, grabbing my legs and spreading them apart. My lower back presses past the carpet fluff, reaching the wooden floor, so my head turns to the sofa, to the pillows. Time slows down once it is upholstered accordingly. The initial pinch becomes sharp, then numb. Neither west nor east remains, only southwest going northeast and back again. I’m reading the potential between the main axes, the movements broken and restarted, much like the bus driver arriving at each stop, sometimes opening the doors to empty curbs. Whoever is there will board the journey upriver, into the continent. And our bodies pivot to northwest going southeast and back again, and so should the bus, leaving the riverside avenue, going inwards. As you come closer to the destination, you’ll meet the Oriente disguised as a steely behemoth train station. Many come and go inside it, they sleep inside it, they eat inside it, but no need to go there. Head to the building across the Oriente, a shopping center named after the first European man to reach India by sea. Walk in, head to the basement level and it will most likely be there. You’ll encounter a wish and a promise, a domain of many fragments naked, unspoiled, an invitation to gather, to reform, to draw a territory, the totality of your being.
Photos by Bruno Lopes.
Bruno Zhu - Continente
Kunsthalle Lissabon, February 28 - May 5