February 15th, 2019

Luís Lázaro Matos at Bastide Projects


Artist: Luís Lázaro Matos

Venue: Bastide Projects, Marseille

Exhibition Title: White Shark Cafe

Date: November 23, 2018 – February 16, 2019

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Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Bastide Projects, Marseille. Photos by David Giancatarina.

Press Release:

Dear Rafael,

I’ve been meaning to send you this letter for a long time. So much has happened in my life since the first time I saw you on that little beach in the Calanques. What an incredible place for a first date. It seemed we were swimming in the most translucent pool in the universe. I have heard so many times people reinforcing the idea of the beauty of the water of a beach and comparing it with that of a swimming pool. We swam in the most limitless pool of all; more infinite than the ones we see in architectural magazines which people usually stack as decoration on coffee tables.

Like I told you a year ago, I went on holiday to the south of France because I wanted to understand the reason why so many artists moved there in the past century. In one of my plunges on the internet where I usually find the most incredible curiosities I came across the expression “White Shark Cafe”. This term, created by a team of biologists comprises an extensive area of the Pacific Ocean where every year there is a migratory flow of great white sharks that go there for no apparent reason; nor to feed or reproduce. It seems that biologists used this name to suggest that the animals go there with no other purpose than socializing.

When I travelled south, the image of the “White shark Cafe” accompanied me. I imagined all the artists who had been there, swimming like sharks around and after each other.

I told Alexis about you the other day and I thanked him for putting us in touch. Finding someone as interesting as you and starting a friendship in the south of France, gives me the impression of a scenario strikingly similar to what I had day-dreamed while thinking about the “White shark Cafe”. Thank you for driving me to the Noialles villa in Hyères. I recommend that you watch the movie which Man Ray filmed in that place – it was so incredible to find out about the people who frequented that house and swam in that pool.

“How two travellers arrived in St. Bernard, what they saw in the ruins of an old castle on top of which a modern-time castletands.”
When we walked the streets of Arles, you spoke to me about the Mistral, and how this wind, by cleaning the air of Provence gives the region a very particular light, that would have attracted artists like Van Gogh or Gauguin. I also remember you talking about the popular belief that this wind when it lasts for too long makes people go a bit crazy. Do we breathe the winds as fish breathe the currents? I also wonder if sharks could go crazy like Van Gogh – eventually mutilating their own fin?

I have been thinking about the violent year I had since I met you. And the image of our week in Marseille emerges as a peaceful island where Sharks can kiss without tearing each other’s skin with their teeth. I hope to see you soon in our White Shark Cafe. I love the image in my head, of this beach-pool and of all the movement of the car racing at the speed of light, cutting through those roads accompanied by cypresses. It is the good memories that let us keep breathing, no matter how often we feel the pain of Poseidon’s harpoon opening our gills.

Farewell my friend.

PS: I’m sorry you did not see the man doing a handstand on the edge of the pool of the Radiant City. One fantasy on top of another.

Link: Luís Lázaro Matos at Bastide Projects

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