Hugo Canoilas is an artist who lives and works between Lisbon and Viena. On the 24th of November 2016 his most recent exhibition called "Debaixo do Vulcão" opened at Nacional Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) in Lisbon. An exhibition that is the result of an artistic intervention, that took three months of production in a quarry near by the center of Vila de Negrais, Portugal.

This intervention with the name "Morte Sem Fim" is presented here in place of the artist's studio. The artist told us, that working like this, he can share his work with the public - "I work a lot outside of my studio, and especially during the last year, I did not produce anything in my studio in Viena". 

Just to remember that on October 2016, ProjectoMap was present in London for a conversation with the artist, about his exhibition "Unfaithul to Daydreams" at Workplace Gallery, one of the international galleries that represent the artist.


ProjectoMap: In conversation with us, you told us that your studio is where you are. Is there a place that has more importance for your work?

Hugo Canoilas: No. I work exhaustively. I have a hard time stopping. The most important places for my work are therefore those where I can stop. And these may not even be spaces but moments, people or events.

ProjectoMap: How do you choose to live and work in Austria? Does the city of Vienna have any influence on your work?

Hugo Canoilas: I went to a place where I feel absolutely foreign. I assimilate and deal every day with a certain mood, system of values and permanent reaction and reflexivity typical for the Austrians. I feel absolutely awake here alongside with the Other.

ProjectoMap: For you, what are the fundamental characteristics of the studio?

Hugo Canoilas: Only those absolutely necessary to do a certain job. And so the margin of a river, a quarry or an abandoned house can serve me as well as a studio with heated concrete floor and zenith light. We need more of a "broken pocketknife" as J. Beuys said, and less of the Romantic and / or bourgeois image of the artist's studio.

ProjectoMap: You work in various media. Are there any issues you work in specific environments?

Hugo Canoilas: I work only on one thing and that thing continues to escape me. I keep trying to find it, but this seems to move when I get close to it. This task will take a life time.

ProjectoMap: When do you finish a work?

Hugo Canoilas: A work starts with an idea and an action, which are mine, but the work happens in front of me. The work happens when I realize that this thing that was internal as become external, existing outside of me; object, that can be incorporated again as a discursive part - as an authoral work. It is when I can be elastic enough to incorporate it.

Thank you Hugo,

  • Date: 07-11-2016 / Centro da Vila de Negrais
  • Local: Centro da Vila de Negrais