Sabrina Amrani is pleased to present Shadows Fall Behind, the third solo show by Mónica de Miranda in the gallery.
The red thread of destiny is an ancient oriental legend that deals with the idea that a thin and invisible red thread connects people emotionally. Beyond the place or the circumstances that each one has to live in, they will end up meeting because they are bound by an unbreakable bond. More deeply, the myth is related to the confidence that something sustains us beyond our actions and invokes a red thread tied to the little finger as a symbol of a constellation of infinite connections, of a loving network capable of containing the solitary existence of the individual. It is, without a doubt, a beautiful belief. I wish all people, regardless of their origin, could trust fate in this way.
Mónica de Miranda (Porto, 1976) has developed a strong body of work on the African diaspora in Europe, specifically in the Portuguese context. Using photography and video as her main means, she has explored the memory of the land and the landscape after the colonisation processes that began in the 16th century. In collaborative formats, in which her practice always enters into dialogue with other creators, the artist investigates the colonial wound of subalternised territories, but she does so from a visual composition antagonistic to misfortune. The tension of history to which her works allude operates like cryptography whose decipherment always offers a space for repair.
For the project Shadows Fall Behind, De Miranda has carried out an in-depth investigation of the land border between Spain and Morocco, on the North African coast. She toured the cities of Ceuta and Melilla trying to understand that other kind of warp that intertwines—always tragically—a border fence with migrant dreams of the promised land. The photographs show us the landscape that those dreams look at. As a subtle decoration, the artist superimposes embroidery of traditional Islamic patterns on the horizon of the Spanish coast. The red thread indicates here imaginary cartography that transgresses the geopolitical drawing of this border and gives it the warmth of a texture, of something that can offer a certain type of shelter.
Along with the photographs, the artist presents the audiovisual piece Border song (2022), made in collaboration with the Afro-Portuguese musician Xullaji. The video travels the fence of Ceuta and Melilla, a contour of no more than twenty kilometres, from a moving car. Her images summon us to a painful procession in which voices, sounds, and chants from both sides of this steel line intermingle. The blood there has lost its colour. In this plot, there are only cut threads, unstitched, breaks, dismemberment, division.
Press release courtesy Sabrina Amrani.