The world appears to her reflected by pure inwardness

There is a line, a border, which separates us from our neighbors. Be that in the form of a fence, a gate or a simple door, it establishes an irresolvable tension between demarcation and common space, between private and public. It conveys a sense of security and comfort but at the same time of division. A line that, in the American poetís vision, makes whoever is on the other side (and ourselves as well), and exactly because they are on that other side, good neighbors. This invisible limit, taking on different appearances, is a central element in the exhibition (and in the artistís thinking). It materializes as a brick wall or as a couple of closed gates. In keeping with the metaphor of he apparently familiarity, Jorge Santosí work is traversed by a (suspicious) simplicity, which translatesin the economy of colors and forms used and even in the number of exhibited works. There is almost a feeling of emptiness woven through each work placing them in the verge of disappearance. Santos chooses ordinary things to inspire his work, and much of what is presented originates precisely from his wanderings around Spike. In a complex and sophisticated world, we often loose sight of its inherent simplicity. By creating pieces infused by a sort of a ghostly romantic minimalism, the artist embodies Proustís famous concept of mÈmoire involontaire. Developed in his novel In Search of Lost time, particularly in the famous ëmadeleine episodeí, the author describes the way in which memories of the past ¿ood the present by the simple tasting a particular cake. An analogous effect is sought through the works of Jorge Santos. Located in the geography of the everyday, they act as cues to recollect the past without a conscious effort.

Their simplicity is nevertheless misleading as they create a violent but subtle øssure, which displaces the viewer by destabilizing the familiar. Through the use of repetition, Jorge Santosí work locates itself between boredom and confusion, order and chaos and thus disturbs the smooth surface of daily existence. A further theme permeates this artistís work: domesticity. The house, epitomizing an uncanny synonym for inwardness, becomes a metaphor for the duality interior/exterior. Santos acts both on both sides of this fold. On the one hand, an unapproachable exterior symbolized through the closed gates, the sharp threatening fences, and by an imprisoning wall. And on the other, by a mutating wallpaper which encapsulates the idea of an incarcerating interior (and which evokes the 19th century short tale The Yellow Wallpaper by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman). Nature is woven through most of the works. If at ørst glance it resembles a melancholic romantic gesture, at close inspection it acquires an aggressiveness resulting from a sort of a silent but brutal inøltration within the most basic structures of daily life. The presented works establish themselves within a language that Santos has been developing for the past years, in which, transparency, re¿ection, light and space are key pillars.

Filipa Oliveira