Sister is a site-specific work that reflects on the artist’s personal relationship to water and memory. Daniela Paes Leão was part of a group of artists from Porto, including poet Regina Guimaraes, that was invited to organise an exhibition in Reservatoria da Patriacal in Lisbon: an out of use underground water reservoir and water distribution facility. Prior to the exhibition the group decided to organise a series of meetings in which they would discuss the importance of water in Portuguese culture. They would each bring texts and film clips to these meetings and the talks touched upon various topics such as the colonial history, the mental aspect of being in proximity to the coastline and the Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation Manuelino, which incorporated maritime elements. The artist also had a much more personal relationship to water. Growing up in a coastal village just outside of Lisbon, the talks made her think of the time she spent on the beach with her sister, whom she missed a great deal at that time.

The artists invited her sister to the beach and used a tourist camera to take 36 photos of the two of them. From this series, the artist selected 5 photos and used an ordinary colour photocopier to step by step enlarge them. With each step, the images would lose quality and colours would become more artificial, more saturated, while at the same time, shadows became darker and bright areas more white. The artist hung the 5 colour copies unprotected in mid air in the naturally humid surrounding, causing the images to stain and blur over time. Visitors of the exhibition had to cross a bridge over the water to see them, but were unable to get close enough to touch them. This production process and way of showing the images draws a parallel to how the ephemeral memory itself operates.

Colour copies
80g copy paper
0.90m x 0.60m x 5
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