From Genesis’ 1973 song, Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, rises a question on the first verse — can you tell me where my country lies? — which is redirected in this work to Nau Portugal, questioning it insistently.
Built to integrate the Portuguese World Exhibition of 1940, Nau Portugal was conceived with the goal of mimicking a galleon from the Portuguese sea route to India. The project was alined with the spirit of national exaltation that permeated the Exhibition. The grandeur of the ship and its sumptuous interior decoration, would be a calling card for Portugal on the trips it was destined to make. However, its fate was quite different. Unsuitable for navigation, due to errors made in its projection, it tumbled on the opening day, in Gafanha da Nazaré. Towed to Belém by English sailors and having finished its role at the Portuguese World Exhibition, Nau Portugal suffered irreparable damage with the February 1941 cyclone, ending its days as a freight barge on the Tagus river.
Nau Portugal: can you tell me where my country lies? is a personal interrogation about the status of the country through its history and cultural identity, a continuous reflection on its past and on its future.
Exhibition view at The Annual Exhibtion, Malmö Art Academy