“In a present defined by images films can be said to act as memory machines that construct and sustain collective remembrances. The scenes and plots of movies have become entwined with the recall of our own past, capturing us in a limbo-like suspension of nostalgia ‘neither fully immersed in memory nor living in the present.’ Silver is a residue of the film industry process and is integral to the production of black and white film in particular, without which none of these moving image stories would exist; it is recycled by spinning a solution containing traces of the substance in industrial drums, leaving behind a remnant of precious metal.
The shattered ore fragments were collected by Pavão from the laboratories of the Portuguese Cinema Museum and formed into a sculpture that retains the circular shape of the extraction drum. His act of bringing back the spent silver residue evokes the countless reels that contributed to the history of Portuguese film, and, by association, all of cinema. His gesture gives material shape to a memory lived out on the silver screen, the fugitive recall of a vicarious life that embeds us all in a dreaming collective.”
Nicolas de Oliveira & Nicola Oxley, 2023
Silver extrated from 35 mm films
20 x 20 x 10 cm
Installation views, 'Oxímoro / Oxymoron', Kindred Spirit, 2022
Photo — João Grama