"The Escape Route's Design"
Artist book launch

Mariana Silva & Pedro Neves Marques

June 12th- 14th, 2008


A full version of the artist's text is available to read and print at e-flux journal.

Re-presentation of the text: July 8, 2010 within the event series PERFORM A LECTURE! at Salon Populaire, Berlin.





Mariana Silva (PT) and Pedro Neves Marques (PT) present "The Escape Route's Design"; a bilingual Portuguese/ English text, edited and designed by the artists', in the shape of an essay of their own authorship and concept. The book launch is integrated with models and video loosely appropriating concepts of the book, translating not as an exhibition but a three day presentation, meant to finish when the last booklet is given away.

The essay stages a dialogue between the incomplete projects in Ilya Kabakov's installation works and the series of attempts at crossing the Berlin Wall from East to West from the 60s until the mid 80s. It takes the shape of a case-study which reads as a strange oblique comparison between artistic proposals and historical events. Through this dialogue it is advanced the supposition of an already made realization of the proposals made by Ilya Kabakov, most specifically in "The Palace of Projects", by way of the historical events occurred at the Berlin Wall.

Acknowledging the fact that Kabakov has intended the proposals in his installations simply as proposals, advanced for the sake of reflection and extracting from their incompleteness a poetical and utopian charm; the consideration of this utopian connotation of actions pursued and to pursue individually, sometimes of fairly easy execution, is then a key term in articulating Art with the respective actors/ participators in the crossing of the Berlin wall. As a relative aesthetic revision of these historical events is attempted in the booklet, this enables finally the consideration/ proposal of a ready-made historical utopia.

Using the urban context of the city of Berlin as a starting point, this oblique-case study is also a way to experience and confront oneself with the city's history, going through an experimental definition of what is considered Art or the meaning of its dissolution in Life and possible consequences of re-reading political/ historical events as performance/ activism. The choice of uniting the two historical and artistic subjects is drawn together in the booklet by speculation around a performative concept of Art, much in the sense of dematerialized action like the Situationists and Fluxus proposed (both curiously active around the same time as the events of the Berlin wall). In other words Art inquiring on the possibility of considering action-in-potential as one of its definitions.


Pedro Neves Marques
(1984) was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon. Has showed in the group shows "The Augusta Narval Pavilion" (2006; Lisbon), "Before production ceases" (2007; Avenida Space, Lisbon), "Eurasia" (2008; Anastácio Gonçalves Historical House, Lisbon), "Ocurrence" (2008; Baginski Gallery, Lisbon). Selected for "Arian Rothschild 3th Painting Prize" (2007; Lisbon) and was one of three awarded young artists from "BesRevelation 2007" prize (2007; Serralves Villa –Museum for Contemporary Art, OPorto). Is represented by Pedro Cera Gallery, Lisbon, where has had his first solo show "Abridged Imagetics" (May/ June 2008; Lisbon). Is currently preparing a show for Spike Island, Bristol, GB.

His work tries to document perspectives of enrootment and communion in the world, and the constitutive relationship between the Individual and the collective whole. Eminently performative and documental, in the form of written text or video, the process of communicating this assessment and sharing subjectivities of being in the world, its possibility of translation to others, determines at each time his method of work.


Pedro Neves Marques was, in 2008, part of the Sparwasser HQ group.

Mariana Silva (1983) was born in Lisbon, Portugal. She studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon and UdK (class Möbus), Berlin. Has showed in the group shows "Third Floor, After' (2004; Lisbon), "Inhabited House" (2004; Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal), "Art Meeting 2006" (2007; Unversität der Kunste, Berlin), "Before production ceases" (2007; Avenida Space, Lisbon), "Eurasia" (2008; Anastácio Gonçalves Historical House, Lisbon). Resident artist at Sótão Art Space (November 2007) resulting in the event "Open Session", with Margarida Mendes, at Quarteto Cinema, Lisbon. Mariana Silva has also worked as Editor of 'MArte', an Art Theory Journal of the students of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon, co-directing its second issue on 'Legitimization in Art' (in collaboration with sociologist Vanda Gorjão), September 2006. This issue published texts from Nathalie Heinich, Thierry de Duve and various critics and curators from Portugal such as Augusto Seabra, Pedro Gadanho, Sandra Viera Jürgens.

Her work focuses on the construction of open structures, in the shape of installations and objects, reflecting on the concept of Spectator and its participation both in the understanding of Art as a social good and its platforms of production and presentation. The proposed participation of the spectators is thus built in the space between the ambiguity of an inclusive communitarian gesture and the tension of an imminent exteriority or opacity.