(UN)COMMON PROXIMITY 
GALERIA BELO-GALSTERER [Lisbon, Portugal]
Curated by Alexia Alexandropoulou
Ana Velez | Claudia Fischer | Daniela Krtsch | Gwendolyn van der Velden | Jorge Molder | Juliane Solmsdorf | Mário Macilau | Mel O’Callaghan | Pedro Quintas | Renzo Marasca | Teresa Segurado Pavão | Wolfgang Wirth
(Un)common proximity is a call for engaging in closer physical and mental contact.
Reflecting on the beauty and complexity of interactions where closeness and distance, comfort and discomfort, familiarity and strangeness interwine, this exhibition conveys emotional and physical encounters that can often be characterized by ambiguity and complexity.
Closeness and empathy, the two main themes, are basic human needs and expressions of care. But what does proximity mean and how do we approach it? While physical closeness can be measured easily within a spatiotemporal prespective, emotional closeness is experienced in a purely subjective way. Is it possible to understand someone else’s experience with whom we share no common ground? Can we engage in an environment that is truly alien to us? Sometimes it takes a certain distance to get closer to an idea or a topic. Most of the time, this idea of distance becomes marginal. But what does this mean for our feeling of closeness? The artists of the exhibition deal with the topics of empathy, emotions, and self-reflection in a moment where proximity and closeness have fallen into a crisis.
Some works consider the social potential of encounters as open-form spaces and informal social settings in which to convene and converse; while others serve as interruptions, reotienting the behaviour of the viewers and inviting them to come closer and get acquainted with cultures, gestures, and environments others than they have been familiar with. Above all, these perspectives seek to present dogmatic solutions, but to transform the gallery space into a space where we can feel, dream, reflect, and interact.
Photos © Euardo Sousa Ribeiro