Schoeni Projects, a new contemporary arts platform, is celebrating cross-cultural exchange through an innovative series of collaborations, presented in unique creative environments. The inaugural exhibition at its London space is a Victorian Townhouse, opening online and by appointment from July 24 – August 24 2020. Titled DisCONNECT, the exhibition transforms the period building — currently under renovation before a full opening next year — with a series of new site-specific works from ten urban artists working across seven countries — including Alexandre Farto, aka “Vhils” from Portugal.
The exhibition at Schoeni Projects, created in close collaboration with Hkwalls, has been adapted to not only adhere to current restrictions but also to reflect on the creative and physical constraints of the global crisis. DisCONNECT explores the psychological and political reactions to the pandemic, as well as the role of technology as a conduit between the two. Artists creating remotely include Vhils, whose bas-relief carving technique transforms the house’s library doors, which he received and worked on during lockdown in his Lisbon studio. The doors enclose Vhils’ ‘camada series #26’, comprising hand-carved and laser-cut advertising posters collected from the street and mounted on a metal structure, situated in the middle of the room.
Vhils’ work has included chiselled facades and doors, installations, and printed material aimed to subvert and reveal different layers both aesthetically and conceptually in order to convey underlying themes and messages that are often overlooked.
“It is a lot about destroying the surface and all of the layers that are already there, using them as palettes of colour for my portraits,” says Vhils. “It is a very dense process between me and myself, it’s kind of a chaotic process that makes me excited about the creation as you never know what you will end up with, that makes it very beautiful as it makes the process organic.“