History Zero

History Zero comprises a film of three episodes alongside an archive of text and images that was originally commissioned for the Greek Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale. The film questions the value of money and the role it plays in the formation of human relationships by depicting the experiences of three very different people: an elderly art collector suffering from dementia, an immigrant searching the streets for scrap metal, and an artist taking snapshots of the city, looking for inspiration.

Accompanying this film is an archive of examples and evidence from various models of alternative, non-monetary exchange systems. Rather than simply documenting these models, the archive stands as a political statement proposing a reformation towards autonomous communal patterns and forms of survival and resistance. This archive is presented in a sculptural form for the first time, hand carved by the craftsmen at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar who are also looking alternative forms of survival away from mass production and holding on to the heritage of the Philippines through their unique creations.

The project helps us think about how value changes over time and how we can reconsider alternative forms of exchange in this time of financial uncertainty (be it the Greek Economy, demonetization in India, Brexit, or any other recent events which have drastically revalued traditional forms of currency).



Not Vital

Not Vital chanced upon the Philippines when looking for a space in Asia to install his celebrated sculptural structures for contemplation. Seeking a place of worship that transcends the bounds of traditional devotion, the Chapel is a 141-square meter cast concrete structure, molded to resemble wooden planks with intricate grooves of raw lumber. Illuminated solely by the sliver of sunlight found at the far end of the room, the Chapel houses a 240-tile ceramic mural of thirteen heads in an abstract rendition that could also be interpreted as the Last Supper. Each tile was fabricated in the famous porcelain city of Jingdezhen, China.

During the first half of 2015, Bellas Artes Projects in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar hosted Vital and architect Paulo dos Sousa as artists-in-residence. A half an hour drive from Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar over rough jungle terrain, the soon to be opened Chapel emerges from the forest and provides a space to look at the seaside horizon and to contemplate spiritual wonder of any denomination. A natural river is located just below the chapel where visitors can swim and enjoy the bounty of nature. This 400-hectare site will be Bellas Artes Projects’ sculpture park in the future.