Materials Lab, 2015–2023

“First of all, artists should break rules. When I did my first Materials Lab in 2015 I was not thinking about documenting my work. I was thinking about how to talk about my work while not using images of the works themselves. Rather, I was showing the whole process of making the artwork: from ideas to research materials to construction materials. But, after all, the decision was mine. What to include, what to add, what to leave behind? I was wondering how to organise several boxes, each box referring to a specific piece containing archival objects and discarded materials of different origin that belonged to processes of research: silk threads, books, book segments, exhibition catalogues, models, text fragments, magazine pages, inkjet prints, notes, drawings, marble, steel, bricks, dirt, dust, among others. I was literally unpacking my artworks not knowing that I was creating another artwork.”

In Conversation With Fernanda Fragateiro On The Problem Of The Documentation Of The Contemporary Artwork, by Claudio Zecchi

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[…] as a lexicon of the artist's references, helping us to understand her generically entitled Materials lab emerges, as a lexicon of the artist's references, helping us to understand her connections to specific places, political struggles and the poetics of social transformation.”

“Materials Lab is composed of a wide variety of research materials from the artist’s projects over seven years. Within each box there are materials that relate to specific projects and reveal histories of individuals like Otti Berger or Lygia Clark. However, the artist is not presenting these materials as a ‘code to crack’ in order to reveal previous works or merely an exposé of a working process. Fragateiro presents a new kind of map that provides insight into her working processes and the worlds she explores. Materials Lab is a cartographic process that enables the artist and the viewer to see new connections, in time, space and history.”

© Fernanda Fragateiro 2023