Gaëlle Rouard: flaming darkness
7 july — 17 december 2023
Curator: Andreia Magalhães

Darkness, darkness, burning bright
In the forests of the night ...

Gaëlle Rouard has been working as a filmmaker since 1991. She is a recognised auteur in the field of European experimental cinema, specializing in chemical processing of film and the possibilities of live multi-projection. At the Centro de Arte Oliva she has converted her film Darkness, Darkness, Burning Bright (2022) into an installation; which gave rise to a new approach to the work. The film required three years of filming, processing and editing to complete, plus a further nine months to create the soundtrack. It unfolds in two parts, Prelude and Oraison, which offer a nocturnal and crepuscular landscape, where animals and vegetation emanate iridescent lights. Each shot of Darkness, Darkness, Burning Bright is carefully composed and results from the combination of still and moving images.It has been described as a succession of tableaux vivants (living pictures), where the visual effects “confer an alien luminosity to the natural world”.

A more unknown facet of Gaëlle Rouard’s artistic production are the dozens of photograms on display produced over the last three years. Each one is developed on photographic paper and made without the use of a camera, but with the use of light exposure and chemical emulsions; some have been painted or received collages. Since they never had a public presentation, these works offer us a new artistic dimension of the author.

Gaëlle Rouard (France) is a filmmaker and artist. Since 1991 she has been directing films, specialising in chemical processing of film and the possibilities of live multi-projection. Her work has been presented internationally, primarily at festivals and art centres such as the Centre Pompidou Paris, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Syros SIFF Film Festival and Brisbane Institute of Modern Art. Her latest film Darkness, Darkness, Burning Bright (2022) has received awards in various festivals where it has been presented, including the Istanbul International Film Festival Award, the Experimental Competition Award at the Curtas de Vila do Conde and Best Sound Design at the Ann Arbor Film Festival (2023), one of the world’s leading experimental film festivals (USA).

Andreia Magalhães is a collection manager, programmer and exhibition producer. In Portugal, she has worked at Museu da Faculdade de Belas Artes, Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis and the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. Magalhães also worked at the Netherlands Media Art Institute /MonteVideo, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Museum of Modern Art New York and San Francisco and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo. Between 2013 and 2016, she coordinated the Museology service at Museu do Douro; she is the director of Oliva Art Centre (São João da Madeira) since 2017. She holds a doctorate degree by the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto and has developed a part of the doctorate programme at MoMA New York. She is an Associate Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto.

The exhibition is part of a curatorial line at Centro de Arte Oliva aimed at fostering works that engage in dialogue across various disciplines, blurring the boundaries between film, video, performance, and installati

Acknowledgment: Curtas Vila do Conde, International Film Festival.


07 July | 18:30 | Opening + commented visit to the exhibition with Gaëlle Rouard and Andreia Magalhães (English)
July | 15:00 | Visit to LGP with Ângelo Costa (with translation into Portuguese)

October 15 | 15:00 | Guided visit with Susana Rodrigues

Exhibition views © Dinis Santos