Joana Escoval, Beasts of Gravity / Living Metals

A twilight walk by Joana Escoval with Nuno da Luz.

13 February 2020 – from 7 pm

Estufa Fria de Lisboa, Lisbon

Organised in collaboration with Museu Coleçao Berardo and Kunsthalle Lissabon


Beasts of Gravity | Living Metals began at dusk, as the day vanished into shadows. Participants walked in a transient moment, a ground suspended in time. At the start of the promenade, Joana Escoval distributed a series of peculiar objects that were shared throughout the journey. These thin collar-like sculptures, named ‘Living Metals’ by the artist, were to be worn or hand-held. Like antennas that receive signals from the ether, these objects functioned as transitional sculptures, which – charged by each individual – acted as conductors, connecting person to person, bodily vibrations to atmospheric ebbs and flows. Participants got entangled in the diaphanous mesh of living flora. They reconnected with their inner instincts that refracted outwards, into a protean whole – a collective body.

Beasts of Gravity | Living Metals was both a continuation and the beginning of a different journey. The work embodied Escoval’s ongoing engagement in ‘performance-promenades’ as a way to explore different understandings of the natural environment, alchemical principles, and human interaction. The performance drew from a previous project from which it borrowed the name: an LP record created by Joana Escoval and Nuno da Luz, in collaboration with London-based record label Vinyl Factory, Fiorucci Art Trust and Kunsthalle Lissabon.

In absence of light, the walk opened onto a state of clarity: an exploration of our presence in the world as part of a collective journey, a communal route we have embarked on, but which we do not know where it will take us.