Parco de Pena / Sintra / Portugal / 2016
“Point of view” – group site specific exhibition
Curator: Paulo Arraiano
THE BIG PICTURE
At first sight Parc of Pena, the natural treasure of Portugal, appears to be a mysterious labyrinth of overlapping and intertwined avenues, paths and stairs, all of which can seem completely chaotic. But several hundred hectares of green madness were designed with a watchmaker’s precision; there is nothing random here.
Over several days I watched tourists visiting the park. It became obvious to me that most of them was struggling to get from their point A to point B. They stood still, pointed, shook heads and dithered between information on their paper maps or apps on their smartphones while occasionally looking up at the road signs.
The tourist’s actions made me think of how an ant would scurry aimlessly all over a doily. The ant doesn’t know the precise symmetry of the pattern it is running on. What it sees in front of it are just entangled threads. To see the beauty of the pattern, the ant would have to change its point of view, look at the pattern from a distance. Only then would its eyes see the big picture and the organised symmetry.
I believe the Park of Pena gives one the opportunity for an experience different from following a map. One doesn’t have to find paths, one should let oneself get lost and maybe after some time is spent rambling one will find a new, wider perspective and see the beauty of the pattern.