Text for carlos nogueira
by Álvaro Siza
I’m one of those people who insists on finding a relationship that is both fundamental and ineluctable between the realms of Architecture and the Arts (or the other arts). I’m referring to Sculpture, in particular, but also to Painting and Music.
The process of purification which has accompanied the development of «Modern Architecture», and the exhausting individual and collective explorations taking place within its explosively transformative architectural movements have been progressively corroding this relationship, pulling the two realms apart.
Whether paradoxical or not, the traditional defining boundaries of artistic expression and methodology are being dissolved or broken. It is a process which doesn’t imply, however, a return to unification inside a «mother of all the arts.» What we have is a kind of melting pot of culture lying in parallel to other realms of research and knowledge.
Contemporary sculpture (if we want to adopt traditional delineating nomenclature) includes Chillida’s transformative interpretation of nature and Moore’s figures (which are set apart from nature, on which they depend, involved in a distant but understandable dialogue), as well as the «temporary encampments» of Christo, after which nothing will ever be as it was.
It is within these artistic areas that Carlos Nogueira’s creative efforts move about. He gives us autonomous forms which establish relationships with one another and with the landscape. This is what sculpture and architecture have in common, what is similar at least, what oscillates in the interstices of that which distinguishes them.
I’m also one of those people who thinks that the city, or any other place, doesn’t need - in theory - the addition of «artwork.» A city made up of configured spaces - imprinted by acts of existence - is, for that very reason, beautiful. Pervaded with such life, the city reveals itself as alternately exciting, mysterious and tranquil, in accordance with our particular desires.
But it is clear that Portuguese cities, and Portuguese landscapes in general, are now being transformed without regard to this principle of «fitting in and becoming part.» The foundation of Carlos Nogueira's work lies in a resistance to the alienation found so frequently in this blatant resignation of responsibility shown by architects and city planners.