Fernanda Fragateiro's sculptural interventions on benches designed by Ribeiro Telles highlighted some of the spaces that served as a venue for the Summer Garden events from 23rd June to 3rd July 2016, along with other places especially selected by the artist.
In Paisagem Não-paisagem, the concrete benches designed by Gonšalo Ribeiro Telles which have been present in the garden since 1969 are fitted with steel plates glued onto the seat and sides. The artist selected nine on a route that goes from the Headquarters to the picnic area, through the rose gardens, the pine forest in front of the Modern Collection building and skirts the lake. This is a very popular route for those who wander through the park and along which some of the events of the Summer Garden took place.
The artist's approach often forges a connection with an architectural system based on architectural drawing, construction, installation and the demarcation of space. Her work uses the mirrored surfaces to highlight passages between the two-dimensional planes of the image and the three-dimensionality of the space, the virtual 'screens' that multiply it, the sensory experiences of thermal and tactile change, the striking interruption of limits and outlines by others that overlap them and the aesthetic examination that is also demanded by practical enjoyment.
Constructivist and minimalist references in her work have been pointed out: the effectiveness of the cutting, the essential nature of abstract choices, the sudden theatricality - sober but vigorous - of what she offers to experience in public spaces.
In these places of Gulbenkian garden, we become contemplative visitors, invited to participate as well as committed observers of the recent history of this heritage, of the uncertain present that the moving images on these polished surfaces gives us, of nature and artifice, of permanence and of ephemerality.