We shall go with them into the Future

“I said, ‘I wonder what it means’,

not ‘Tell me what it means.”

New Yorker Cartoons,

cartoon caption by Will McPhail, 2017

1. Adriana Oliveira
2. Alberto Rodrigues Marques
3. Bruno Rodrigues Martins
4. Daniela Pinheiro
5. Diogo Nogueira
6. Inês Nêves
7. João Campolargo Teixeira
8. Leonor Neves
9. Manuel Fonseca
10. Maria Luz
11. Sérgio Rebelo
12. Vier Nev

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be ADRIANA OLIVEIRA,􏰈􏰩􏰄
waiting for us there, sitting at the bus stop next to the post office in Guimarães, with a bus at her fingertips, playing with what she takes out of her last suitcase: make-up, a nail, a drill. Drawing, with all that is left of the end of the world, its least squares upon least squares
on layers and layers of great circles
where we will read: exhaustion.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be ALBERTO RODRIGUES MARQUES,
waiting for us there, alone on stage: an Olympic stage mounted on stilts, over some ocean, and he over there, painting as if he were dancing, drawing as if he were swimming all the way across the blue and the red
(not of the sea, not of the sea)
from this side, informing us then about the resistance of plants.
Yes, I will have the flower.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be BRUNO RODRIGUES MARTINS,
waiting for us there, in a concert of medium waves, the voice of acclaimed poets applauding the superimposition of natural instruments, fast as drums, alone like a womb, blue and yellow like the sunset that separates man from the sea, blue and yellow like the barriers, like the flags.
If we came closer, we would also see the sun.
We would see, in its objective hand: a lens and a cliff.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be DANIELA PINHEIRO,
waiting for us there, sitting on a glass plinth, confusing the concepts of architecture and gymnastics. And we don’t know if what she will do is give a speech or jump over the more than imperfect time. And we don’t know whether, on leaving, the plinth will break and crumble into dozens and dozens of garish cubes, or simply merge with the earth.
“In the beggining, the difference of the end,” tells us.
And she magnifies for us a carpet of oil on linen. Pause.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be DIOGO NOGUEIRA,
waiting for us there, sheltered from death behind a folding screen, sleeping with Franz Kafka on a bed of books, the great insect painted in another colour, peeping at them.
There, where myths are cut in half; there, where nothing is small: not even the mermaid. Nor the half of the mermaid. nor the sacrificed tree for the infinite wooden doll, for the folding screen, for the portrait of the desolate winter parents, waiting for him to light the wood to burn the cold off them.
Bundle up, yes, bundle up.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be INÊS NÊVES,
waiting for us there, in Talín, winding and unwinding wires in arms stretched out towards Braga: electric wires, textile wires, conductor wires.
Life is dancing with a big white bag and drawing every line in it every fall.
Life is frogs dying as much as men but the muscles of both react in their own way. To music, to pain.
The line between Estonia and Portugal is transparent like a fishing line.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be JOÃO CAMPOLARGO TEIXEIRA,
waiting for us there, on a basketball court, with a flexible gaze, sitting on the floor as a coach of repeatable steps. In his lap are a sketchbook, a pen, and crayons. But when he draws, he draws words. But when he draws words, the words light up. But when the drawn words light up, we go in, players afflicted with light, waiting for a trained minute to see the sea.
In the centre court, he knows that on special days, romance takes our sleep away.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be LEONOR NEVES,
waiting for us there, on the beach, holding on to a tunnel of light at the end of the tunnel of light.
The tunnel is white. The bottom of the tunnel is blue and round and also white when it closes with the wind on itself. The tunnel is not static, you have to know that the tunnel is mouldable. It is necessary to know about the possibility, for example, of a landscape divided like a piano, the terraces 􏰑􏰄􏰓􏰒􏰄􏰑defined with a ruler and green pastel.
You have to know that if you draw the bottom of a tunnel on the tarpaulin and fill it with coal, only the tunnel remains. Just the tunnel, without the light.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be MANUEL FONSECA,
waiting for us there, in an art gallery in Budapest, sculpting the suitcases for Lisbon with wax, paper, and iron. When he sets off, perhaps he will carry his own marble roots; perhaps he will look for roots under the massive worktable; perhaps he will find them there when he sets off. Before leaving, facing the mirror, with his back to the map, he will see that even the skin can look like marble if

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be MARIA LUZ,
waiting for us there, sitting on a chair upon a chair upon a chair upon a chair. Her chair, elevated 􏰝􏰳by other chairs, her chair in the precarious balance against the ceiling, far from the floor where she first sat drawing the chair. Reads the cleaning manual for this century. Downstairs, hanging on the door to the exit, she left her blue bag: an old-fashioned, gentle bag, no bribe, no trace of corruption.
In her blue bag, she kept all the painting material necessary to be able to draw the blue bag.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be SÉRGIO REBELO,
waiting for us there, inside a portrait album that he inherited from his grandparents, escaping from paper, stepping out of his own portrait, tearing the boundaries of his own photography and stepping out into life. In the pockets full of intelligence are portraits of nobody. There is nothing artificial in all this: nobody’s portraits are nobody’s; nobody’s words are nobody’s; nobody’s joy is nobody’s; nobody’s anguish is nobody’s.
Nobody is always somebody.

We shall go to the future, and in the future will be VIER NIEV,
waiting for us, in the black armchair at the centre of the circle. God turning the circle, turning the armchair, God leaning over the top of the circle. And we, full of faith in God’s technology, who gives us the command; and we command the circle as if we were God; we command the watering of God’s imaginary plants; we command the sky on the screen where God will later sit in the armchair.

Filipa Leal