IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES
A project by Joana Pimentel

Duration: November 23rd, 2007 / January 13th, 2008
Curated by: Filipa Oliveira

Author(s): Joana Pimentel

In his essay On Certainty, Ludwig Wittgenstein considers the concept “in normal circumstances” as a linguistic fallacy. We believe that under those circumstances (the normal ones) what we affirm and have for certain, is in fact certain. But the Austrian philosopher questions this certainty: the mistakes arise exactly from our conviction of truth.

The same happens when we look at a photograph. The reality of the photographic image would allow us, in normal circumstances, to believe in its truthfulness. However, it is the very will for truthfulness what makes our gaze incur in mistakes. This is how Wittgenstein helps Joana Pimentel to polemicise from another perspective on the question on “fiction” in her work.

The discovery of a small library, hidden for centuries, is the pretext to develop a reflection on “suspended time”, about fiction and “frozen time”. And the base of her proposition is the concept of fiction as a mediator of reality. Two series are opposed in her project: In the first one, a woman holds and reads one of those frozen books; in the other one, images of the twenty-nine seas of the moon are shown. Both cycles seem faraway and alien to themselves, but in both of them time is “suspended” and “frozen”. And the artist suggests that we drift along that imaginary land. The same might happen to each spectator, as long as, “in normal circumstances”, he believes in the truthfulness of what is proposed.

Joana Pimentel (Porto, Portugal, 1971) studied in the School of Fine Arts of Porto and fulfilled a doctorate in the Madrid’s Complutense University in 1971. Since then, she has taken part in relevant exhibitions in different European cities.