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JOÃO MARIA GUSMÃO + PEDRO PAIVA both were born in Lisbon, Portugal, where they currently live and work. They have collaborated since 2001. Solo exhibitions took place at Kunstverein Hanover, the Portuguese Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale (both 2009) and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2011). Gusmão and Paiva also participated in significant group exhibitions such as the 27th Biennial of São Paulo (2006) and the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Rovereto (2008). 

João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva work between two opposite poles: technological and scientific developments and the rediscovery of mysticism. They draw inspiration from the texts of René Daumal, the founder a fictional field of study called Abissology, which focuses on the idea of an abyss. In a series of films that combine illusion, mysticism and magic, Gusmão + Paiva show a fundamental distrust of our perceptive capabilities. Their at times surreal “imagery” is building on a network of art-historical, filmic and photographic associations which not only reflect on the subject matter but also on the technical developments of photography and film as a medium enabling scientific breakthroughs.

Watch the works and the video profile of the artists

For the PinchukArtCentre Gusmao + Paivo have made a new 16-mm film which they show in combination with older films and a recent camera obscura work.