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Two Manifolds, Nuno Pimenta

Poetry in Santa Clara: Two Manifolds by Nuno Pimenta

The Two Manifolds installation by Portuguese architect and artist Nuno Pimenta is used as a viewing platform. It also attempts to give material form to the insular existence of the archipelago, making it possible for other people to experience this. In these terms, the project refers to almost metaphysical, even poetic, questions of insularity- the connection between permanence and transience, between going and staying, and the desire to see a bit more of the seemingly boundless horizon.

The project is located in Santa Clara, which as a district of Ponta Delgada, the capital of the Azores, counts among one of Portugal’s autonomous regions. The installation consists of a viewing platform made of Japanese cedar; this faces in three directions. There is also a lower seating level made of three concrete elements. This very choice of materials shows the symbolic content of this installation: wood and concrete are invoked for their connotations of transience and permanence.

The three-armed viewing platform elucidates the geographical situation of the archipelago: one arm reflexively faces Santa Clara, the second overlooks the harbour of Ponta Delgada and the third, which faces the European continent, symbolizes the isolation of the Azores. Materially and philosophically, Two Manifolds addresses the geographic, political and symbolic characteristics of contemporary insularity on the Azores.

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