Mudas - Contemporary Art Museum of Madeira




In the post-truth era that we live in, the boundaries between fiction and reality, between what’s false or true, tend to blur more than ever. There is a constant confrontation between these two opponents and we are never sure which one is which.

 In more recent years, with digital means of communication, any person was given the opportunity to create its own reality and, more importantly, to spread this reality to a wide public. This new concept of creating reality, together with the high speed these type of content is spread, took us to the point where we now find ourselves in. A point where it’s now considered by individuals with high political roles and where it has been used as a weapon to spread certain controversial ideals.


According to Baudrillard, a simulacrum it’s a copy that represents elements that have never existed or that no longer have their equivalent in reality. He defends that a simulacrum it’s nor the medium of reality, nor its dissimulation. A simulacrum only makes us understand that the concept of reality it’s irrelevant for the understanding of our modern day life.


The act of “plugging in a hole” or “filling in the gaps”, either concrete or metaphorical, assumes that there is a problem that is trying to be solved.

  To plug in a hole, it’s usually a solution that it’s not definite. It’s seen as a last minute resource that it’s trying to cover up a more complex problem. The omission of the truth for it’s own convenience.

 Although “to fill in a gap” refers to a similar act as “to plug in the hole”, it has a less pejorative connotation and it means to make something more complete, by creating a linking point between two different subjects.


In this show it’s taken as the truth there once was a real physical link between the two exhibition spaces: a 3.9km tunnel that goes in a straight line between Casa das Mudas and Galeria dos Prazeres. The archaeological evidence that it’s left of this passage that it’s now covered up and unusable, it’s the wood ovens that can be seen in both the spaces. That is what it’s believed to be the entrance to this tunnel. The textile panels in the room symbolise the acceptance of a truth that can not be proved.


The sculptures make use of the imperfections of the material they were made of. These defects were caused by a disease that affected the trees and resulted in their death. While the exterior of the sculptures is apparently in good state, and all those imperfections covered up, it’s interior is still in mutation and it’s difficult to predict if it’s going to deteriorate more or if the treatment that was given to it will slow down this process.  


In this exhibition the concept of real and fictional has been explored by merging different episodes, memories and landscapes that exist or existed in the past, with others that have never happened or existed. By exploring this undefined border between what’s fabricated or authentic, we question ourselves the pertinence of these terms in the present-day.

What truths are undeniable and need our immediate action. In what circumstances we need to bridge the gaps between different positions. When do we need to question ourselves if something is genuine or not.

 In what situations we have to “fill in the gaps”, in what situations we can not “plug in the holes” anymore, in what situations we can not “postpone an eminent problem” any longer.