Located at the southwest end of Culatra Island, Farol is a village in the Algarve (south of Portugal), where no more than 20 inhabitants live permanently. The urban development started in the 1950’s around the Santa Maria Lighthouse, built in 1851, which remains active. In 1987, this territory was integrated into the Ria Formosa Natural Park which has as its “primary objectives the protection and conservation of the lagoon system, namely its flora and fauna, including migratory species, and their habitats”.
The local economy is entirely dependent on tourism. The lack of infrastructure to support this activity outside the bathing season is largely responsible for the sharp seasonality of visits to the island: in summer time the number of houses occupied multiplies by 10. Renting is illegal as no owner is allowed other than the state. Usufruct titles on existing lots pass from parents to children and cannot be sold. Illegal buildings, dating mainly from the 25th of April 1974, have been systematically demolished and the total removal of remaining cases is already planned.
As a result of this affective continuity and of the isolation that is felt most of the year, a set of relationships and affinities develop that contribute to the construction of an identity of its own in a very specific territory.
Interventions, claims and experiences materialize in the urban landscape. DIY solutions to everyday problems span generations while retaining their original relevance, and actions are taken that often question the limits of close coexistence codes, legality, and public and private space.
“Farol” was held at the Instituto Açoriano da Cultura between 12 January 2019 and 12 February 2020.
The exhibition featured a video installation for 3 channels, accompanied by two sound pieces compiled from interviews with António Maurício. “Loraf”, HD video presented on the ground floor, proposes a fiction based on an idea of absolute and utopian isolation from the world outside the island.
3 Channel HD Video Installation
Interview with A.M. - Grandparents, Meditation, Energy Points, UFOs, Legal vs. Illegal, Lighthouse, Average Seawater Level, Freedom
Sound piece, 27’ 26’’, 2019
Interview with A.M. - Construction of the jetty, Photographs
Sound piece, 15’ 05’, 2019
HD Video, 8’ 54’’, 2019