Autograph, London

Mónica de Miranda
The Island

24 Jun - 22 Oct 2022

Free Exhibition
Curated by Renée Mussai and Mark Sealy

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A new exhibition contemplating the complex experiences of Afrodiasporic lives, relationships to the land and colonial pasts



Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA, UK

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Autograph is developing a solo exhibition of newly-commissioned work by Angolan-Portuguese visual artist and filmmaker Mónica de Miranda. Her research-led practice is grounded in themes of urban archaeology and affective geographies at the convergence of politics of gender, memory and space – drawing on postcolonial narratives and artistic strategies of subversion.

De Miranda's most recent project, The Island contemplates the complex experiences of Afrodiasporic lives and Europe’s colonial past. Fusing fact and fiction, The Island explores a long trajectory of black presences in Portugal by bringing together intertwined narratives, African liberation movements, migratory experiences, and identity formations through a black feminist lens.

Using moving and still image, De Miranda deploys the metaphor of the island as a utopian place of isolation, refuge, and escape: a backdrop for collective projections that speak to new and old freedoms. Intimately anchored in personal cultural affinities and notions of ecofeminism, the artist considers soil as a continuously morphing, organic repository of time and embedded memories, where ancestral and geological trauma linked with colonial excavations continues to unfold in circular movements. For De Miranda, soil sits in dynamic relation to social human structures, urging us to develop a more conscious relationship between our bodies, the past and the land – and all that it holds – towards regenerative possible futures.

The exhibition features two new Autograph artist commissions seen for the first time: a 35-minute film work The Island, and an associated photographic series part of Autograph’s 2021 project ‘Amplify – Stranger in the Village: Afro European Matters', supported by the Art Fund.

about the artist

Mónica de Miranda

is an Angolan-Portuguese visual artist, filmmaker and researcher who works and lives between Lisbon and Luanda. Her work – which incorporates photography, video, drawing, sculpture and installation – investigates postcolonial politics of geography, history, and subjectivity in relation to Africa and its diaspora through a critical spatial arts practice. Often conceptual and research-based, De Miranda is interested in the convergence of socio-political narratives, gender, and memory at the boundaries between fiction and documentary.

De Miranda is affiliated with the University of Lisbon where she is engaged on projects dealing with ethical and cultural aspects of contemporary migration movements linked to lusophone Africa, such as Post-Archive: Politics of Memory, Place and Identity, and Visual Culture, Migration, Globalization and Decolonization.  She holds post and undergraduate degrees in art and arts education from Camberwell College of Arts and the Institute of Education in London, and a doctorate in Visual Art from the University of Middlesex. De Miranda is a co-founder of the artist residency project Triangle Network in Portugal and in 2014, she founded Hangar – Center for Artistic Research in Lisbon

Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the 12th Berlin Biennale (2022); Bienalsur – International Contemporary Art Biennial from the South (2020); Houston FotoFest Biennial (2020); Lubumbashi Biennale (2020); Dakar Biennale (2016); Bamako Encounters African Biennale of Photography (2016); and the 14th Architecture Biennale of Venice (2014) as well as in museums and galleries such as the Pera Museum in Istanbul (2017) and Caixa Cultural in Rio de Janeiro (2017). Her work is represented in public collections including The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon, Portugal.

You can follow the artist on Instagram and see more of De Miranda's work on her website.

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with art fund support

supported by

Images: 1) Mónica de Miranda, Whistle For the Wind [detail], from The Island. © the artist. Courtesy of / commissioned by Autograph, 2021. Supported by Art Fund. 2) Courtesy Mónica de Miranda. 3) Autograph, photograph by Zoë Maxwell.