João Ferro Martins
(b. 1979, Santarém, Portugal. Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal)
fatto di sottile sfumatura di rumore [made of the quietest shade of loud]
Video, sound, 40:00 min. Best viewed in full-screen.
Art can be a forecast, a prophecy, an uncanny premonition. In part, this is how João Ferro Martins regards his film fatto di sottile sfumatura di rumore (made of the quietest shade of loud). The multi-year project began shooting 2017 in the Lisbon gallery 3+1: Contemporary Art. The artist then expanded the narrative in outdoor settings. The film was made in the middle of a personal catharsis for the artist, one closely linked to crises in the world. After three years of work, Martins’ completed project was set to open in the same gallery as a solo exhibition on March 13, 2020. The show never opened. Two days after installation, coronavirus shut down the city. “When I was installing it,” states Martins, “I could never imagine that it would never premiere. But in a very strange and explicit way, the film relates totally to the effects of Covid-19, even as a mystical announcement of it. The Italian voice-over in the image with clouds relates to climate change and unstoppable capitalism, but today it can be seen as the disaster that came upon us in form of this virus driving humanity into absolute ‘slow-motion’. The most interesting parallel is the character dressed up to fight against Ebola. Today it seems like an echo of Covid-19 professionals equipped to face the task of directing patients to quarantine.”