Miguel Branco Review



by Manuel Castro Caldas

“Sculptures” is the title of the present exhibition by Miguel Branco, showing pieces made in ‘Fimo’. Fimo is a modeling paste, normally used by children. When subjected to heating in a regular kitchen oven, the surface will harden and texture and colour will stabilize.

Small, even tiny, by normal standards, Miguel Branco’s three-dimensional pieces constitute the other side of his pictorial production, from which they retain their family traits: the miniaturized dimensions, the crossing of Symbolist, Surrealist and Pop (as well as “high” and “low”) references, the mainly tonal vocation of the chromatic scheme….

The world of sci-fi, Classic Antiquity, the Orient, Comics, the industrial object…all that is present, sometimes simultaneously, in these small, refined pieces.

What can History do but haunt us?

Taken as part of a series – which it always is, intrinsically - each form draws a horizon where the fantastic and the obvious share the same rights of citizenship.

Over all, miniaturization hovers, as a filter that is both political and “aesthetic”. The more we lean towards the sensuous surface, the recognizable name, the commonly desired dream, the more the object’s “presence” becomes an hypothesis and an hallucination. At the very core of composition, size is given its due place. It reminds us that we cannot (can no longer) truly possess that which hereby returns.

At the same time, we’re presented with the evidence that returning is life (such are the mysteries of repetition and difference…) and that thought is the proper name of this ghost, thought is the life of form.