narrative projects is pleased to present even if at heart we are uncertain of the will to connect, there is a common future ahead by Carlos Noronha Feio. In his second solo exhibition at the gallery, Noronha Feio expands on one of the most significant sides of his practice, a series of rugs made in Arraiolos (Portugal) with the traditional technique and inspired by the iconography of the war rugs of Afghanistan. Noronha Feio’s artistic practice spans across a range of different mediums from painting and drawing to textile, animation and sound installations. Such diverse experience of the possibilities of each medium helps the artist to transcend constrains of tradition, using a more open approach to the rigid rules of composition and ornamentation present in the traditional rugs from Arraiolos. The four, large, new rug works produced for the exhibition demonstrate a more pictorial approach to the composition. The strict rules are abandoned here in favor of free image construction more akin to painting.
For Noronha Feio rugs are above all objects of the everyday, livable places where both rompy child-making and daily prayers are held. They are democratic both in production as well as in their objective, being at the same time an expression of bourgeois wealth and taste. As well as holding a strong presence in the households of different classes for both decorative and practical reasons. They are parasitical objects at that, they introduce messages, stories and histories into a household. Like the sun, they are present but not always noticed, beautiful but sometimes kitsch, even under-appreciated.
In Afghanistan, they served as a mode of reportage, in Arraiolos, they hold the abstract memories of a tradition and a place. In both cases they provide means of sustenance to their producers. Like the sun, rugs enter and engage spaces inhabited by individuals and communities, holding an inherent iconicity that represent everyday exercises of social construction. Noronha Feio builds on his enquires onto the history of these objects and questions the relevance of this, in many respects, archaic tradition in the contemporary cultural, context.