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João Pedro Vale & Nuno Alexandre Ferreira

Semiótica do Bacalhau /
Semiotics of the Cod, 2019

Performance, Installation and Publication.

Semiotics of the Cod explores the relationship between Portugal and Norway by using cod (bacalhau) – the main ingredient in a number of Portuguese dishes – to analyse and deconstruct the Portuguese imagery around this fish, addressing historical, political, economic and social issues. Through an investigation into the trading relationships surrounding this industry, and through the construction of their performance/installation space, the artists explore conversations related to capitalism, sexuality, and gender.

The performance element of the work, which takes place during the opening weekend of the festival, adopts the format of a cooking show that is hosted by the artists. During this event the public are invited to learn about and share one of the most traditional Portuguese dishes, “Bacalhau à Braz” – made with cod caught in Norway, bought in Lisbon, and brought back to Lofoten. Here, under the premise of a meal that is prepared and cooked collectively, the artists discuss the insights and discoveries they made through their research process during their residency on Skrova. A publication based on the project is available for consultation within the installation space throughout the exhibition.

Semiótica do Bacalhau / Semiotics of the Cod is a new commission for LIAF 2019 / North Norwegian Art Centre. João Pedro Vale & Nuno Alexandre Ferreira took part in LIAF 2019’s artist-in-residence programme.

João Pedro Vale (b.1976) & Nuno Alexandre Ferreira (b.1973) are artists based in Lisbon, Portugal.