Ângela Ferreira

Collapsing Structures: Talking Buildings

In 1974, at the outbreak of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, the 4 Estações Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique, was nearing completion. The Portuguese colonial rulers didn’t want to leave the building to the Mozambiquens, so, according to legend, they sealed all the piping with concrete before leaving the country. After remaining vacant for 33 years the building, which was never completed, was demolished in 2007 in order to make room for the US embassy. Ferreira’s multimedia sculpture, with borrowings from the formal language of the HKW’s architecture, superimposes images of the hotel demolition and the collapse and reconstruction of the roof of the Kongresshalle. In the process, she follows the traces of destruction and reconstruction of ideologically motivated foreign policy both in Africa and beyond.

Ângela Ferreira (*1958 in Mozambique) grew up in South Africa where she studied fine art. Her work engages with the ongoing impact of colonialism and post-colonialism on contemporary society. Based on in-depth research, she combines photography, video, and sculpture, often in the form of installations. She represented Portugal at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), where she continued her investigations into the ways European modernism did or did not adapt to the realities of Africa by tracing the history of Jean Prouvé's “Maison Tropicale.” Ferreira lives, works and teaches fine art in Lisbon.