The Word for World

In her first solo presentation at Grey Noise, Lisbon-based Portuguese artist Joana Escoval presents a group of sculptures mainly made of precious metals. Usually found in nature, compounded into different bodies, entities and objects, the human body included, these metals, like others, are inextricable from life and share both bio as well as geologically between so-called living and non-living beings. The fact that these components are conductors, electric and otherwise, is intimately related to their processes of creation as objects by Escoval. Whichever form they’re found in (compounded or purified, mixed as alloys or mixed with other materials), these elements are charged with energies that unite beings and objects, the material and the spiritual. The artist blurs the borders between what we are so used to calling “nature” and “culture”, and emphasizes instead how everything is entangled and connected, seeing “nature” and its cycles beyond a western point-of-view. And most of all, seeing it as something that is not separate from us.

Joana Escoval’s works are passages, open-ended invisible paths. The rhythm and fluidity of the metals she uses in her work are temporarily suspended in time, and will eventually follow their natural transition and transmission into other states of matter, keeping their new-found charges and vibrations from when they were sculptures.

About the artist: Joana Escoval b. 1982. Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. A selection of exhibitions and projects include: CONDO NY hosted by Van Doren Waxter, New York, USA (2018); I will go where I don’t belong / Volcano Extravaganza, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli (2016); I forgot to go to school yesterday, Kunsthalle Lissabon and Kunsthalle Tropical, Iceland (2016); Lichens Never Lie, La Criée Centre d’Art Contemporain, Rennes (2016); Matter Fictions, Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon (2016); The lynx knows no boundaries, Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2015); Europe, Europe, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2014). She won the BES Revelação Prize in 2012 (Serralves Museum) and was nominated for the EDP Foundation New Artists Prize in 2015, in Portugal. Escoval has received a fellowship from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and FLAD Foundation in 2013. Among other residencies, attention is drawn to Fiorucci Art Trust Residency in Stromboli (2015), and RU, in New York (2013/14). She has recently published two flexi-discs with Atlas Projectos and Palmário Recordings and she’s currently working in a new vynil release. In 2017 Joana Escoval showed in Portugal (MAAT, Hangar, Galeria Boavista and Maisterravalbuena), Spain (La Casa Encendida), Greece (The Breeder) and United Arab Emirates (Grey Noise).