Théorie de l’indiscernable / Teoria do indiscernível is a theoretical and poetical inquiry at the frontier between the visible and the invisible. It was first published in Portuguese in the book Abissologia – Teoria do Indiscernível (2012).
The original text is presented in an separate edition for the first time, and is reproduced opposite to a new French translation.
“Abyssology, or the science of the abyss, refers to a neologism found in René Daumal’s book La Grande Beuverie, a satirical novel with metaphysical undertones. The discovery of this literary term, in the context of the artistic practice of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, is reflected in a fictional literary form of a specific science of the bodies based on the phenomenological/ontological concept of the visible minimum – that which one hardly sees or which has almost no existence in the observer’s sight – whether perceived through the eclipsed vision of the eye, in the snapshot of an explosion, or in the complex movement of water. He who studies the science of the abyss is, let us say, most interested in studying indiscernible singularities. Similar to the theory developed by the pre-Socratic atomists, the abyssological theses refer to discrete data from a certain kind of metaphysics in order to approach the depth of the real with utmost care.” (Galeria Zé dos Bois)
João Maria Gusmão (Lisbon, 1979) and Pedro Paiva (Lisbon, 1978) have collaborated since 2001 on objects, installations, 16 and 35mm films, and editorial projects.
They have participated in several international biennials: 27th São Paulo Biennial (Brazil) in 2006; 6th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 2007; Manifesta 7 (Italy) in 2008; 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, as representatives of Portugal; 8th Gwangju Biennial (South Korea) in 2010; and the 55th Venice Biennale central exhibition (Italy) in 2013.
Among their recent individual exhibitions are The Sleeping Eskimo, Kunsthaus Aarau (Switzerland), in 2016; Papagaio, at HangarBicocca (Milano), Camden Arts Centre (London) and KW Berlin, in 2014/15; Alien Theory, at Frac Île-de-France, Le Plateau (Paris), There’s nothing more to tell because this is small, as is every fecundation, at the Marino Marini Museum (Florence), and Tem gwef tem gwef dr rr rr, at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, in 2011; On the Movement of the Fried Egg and Other Astronomical Bodies, at Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), in 2010; Horizonte de Acontecimientos, PHotoEspaña (Madrid), in 2008; and Abissologia: para uma ciência transitória do indiscernível, at Cordoaria Nacional (Lisbon), with the collaboration of Zé Dos Bois gallery and Lisbon town council in 2008.