The work of Angela Ferreira (Maputo, Mozambique, 1958) examines colonialism and its survival in the modern world, especially in Africa. The artist uses a range of presentation formats to bring this ethnographic and historicist investigation to the present, including drawing, video, sculpture, photography and installation. Fábrica derrumbable (2012) emerged from an artist residency in Guimarães (Portugal), where Ferreira and a number of other invited artists explored the notion of transculturality from the perspective of contemporary artistic practice. In a way that is typical of her work, the artist brings into play the political ties between Portugal and Mozambique, which was a Portuguese colony from the sixteenth century up until 1975. She thus opens up new approaches that are sensitive to other types of postcolonial narrative, in which the failure of modernism—in artistic and architectural terms, as well as socially and economically—is central to the relationship between Europe and Africa. In this particular installation, consisting of two moving sculptures composed of wood and photographic documentation, the artist challenges dominant Western discourses by employing a direct, forceful metaphor: the factory as a symbol of prosperity and Western domination (from the Industrial Revolution to the modern age), and the connection in Portugal’s recent history between industrial splendour and a colonial past.
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