Francisco Tropa

Le Grand Café, the Moustache Hidden in the Beard

Exhibition   Rendez-vous   Production   Works   Biography

Exhibition

  • From 2nd June to 23th September 2018
    At Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre
    Opening on the 1st June 2018 at 6pm30

The Art of Answering

As part of the cycle “The Moustache Hidden in the Beard” Francisco Tropa has been producing exhibitions that include drawings (in the broad sense of the word), photo-typographically based silkscreens, sculptural pieces, elements and sets imbued with a didactic or archaeological tone, devices that evoke experiments or demonstrations, constructions, assemblages, etc. Future chapters of this cycle, which are already planed for, will be more performative in nature.

At each presentation, there is a disconcerting mix of the incongruent and the deliberate, of compositional meticulousness and nonchalance, which inscribes FT’s work somewhere within the Duchampian family and awakens detective-like instincts in the viewer. Hoping that the collection of scattered facts will explain cryptic motivations and oblique procedures, the viewer could be tempted to look for minute clues and cast a sweeping, inquisitive gaze at the totality of the crime scene, relating each piece, by contrast or affinity, to another piece (or pieces) within the same space, the same exhibition; within the same “series”, or in a previous one.
But this is not a crime narrative.

Everything in the untouched scene seems emphatically inconclusive, like in a test that has been interrupted at an advanced stage, but is still far from completed. To resume the “investigations” entails accepting the difference between solving a crime and facing an enigma. While the former requires a retrospective chain of pertinent facts, in the latter the narrative is a power unto itself, which draws us in and projects us on the abyss-surface of language, which is, simultaneously, its depth.
FT knows that art today is an ambiguous, somewhat suspicious, category and that there are strong reasons for this. But that does not mean that art might not be, to begin with for its more committed practitioners, an area where answers emerge, which in their peculiar condition are in fact “a matter of life or death”. Answer or die! – such is the challenge of the Sphinx to Oedipus.

The variety and abundance of answers that we now have certainly did not bring us any closer to the answer that will save us from a deadly fate. Which is why the devices, mechanisms, pieces and sets appear in this cycle not merely as instances of a constant practice – an art of answering –, but of a specific modality of that practice: the creation of material situations capable of preserving within themselves open narrative intersections, which remain empirically credible without a hierarchy of mutual annulation. Gestures that are disparate, clear, obscure, precise and vague cast veil upon veil over the figures of fate, leading language into an involvement with that which is unanswerable.

THEM-OUS-TACHE-HID_DENIN_THEB_EARD.

Manuel Castro Caldas
Traduction: Rui Cascais

Rendez-vous

Talk with the artist
September 9 at 3pm30 at Le Grand Café
Free entrance

Production

André Maranha and Francisco Tropa
La beauté du Pacific, 2018
16mm film extract (unknown artist), cherry tree wood, metal
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Fumeux fume, 2018
brass, plexiglas, smoke machine, smoker
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Posters sérigraphies, 2018
Silkscreen on paper
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Morue, 2018
painted bronze
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Pénélope, 2018
bronze, brass, electric motor, fan, steel
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Le perchoir du goéland, 2018
brass, steel cables
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Etalon, 2018
clay drawing
Production Le Grand Café - contemporary art centre, Saint-Nazaire
Courtesy of gallery Jocelyn Wolff

Works

Monument, 2017
brown glass, mechanism with brass gearwheels, copper
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Trace du sein, 2017
brown glass, silver
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Terrace, 2017
26 Casting glass elements, brass, slikscreen on cotton fabric
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Café, 2017
bronze, brass, steel, stainless steel cable, oil painting on metal plate
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

République, 2017
bronze, wood
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Chas, 2017
cherry tree wood, sand, brass camera obscura, b&w photographs on acrylic steel support, oil paint, steel cable
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Trappetalus, 2017
brass, cherry tree wood, painted bronze, paint
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Porteiliaque, 2017
brass, cherry tree wood, painted bronze, paint
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Fenêtretibia, 2017
brass, cherry tree wood, painted bronze, paint
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Le firmanent, 2017
blown glass, mechanism with brass gearwheels, copper, linen rope, wood
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Antipode, 2017
bronze, brass
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Danaé, 2017
brass, stainless steel, 26 bronze objects (pebbles, seeds, shells, fruit pits), water, water pump, latex tube, silkscreen on glass, painted steel trestles
Courtesy Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Biography

Born in Lisbon. Lives and works in Lisbon.
Francisco Tropa is represented by Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris, Galerie Gregor Podnar, Berlin et Galerie Quadrado Azul, Porto.

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More information about the artist.