All that burns melts into air by Mónica de Miranda is an exhibition composed by installation, film and photography, that presents a story told in part fictionally and part as a documentary, formulated in different chapters. The exhibition comprises plants, mirrors, sound, video and photographs. Everything formed by these elements reflects, in turn, a deep link with conflicting memories and historical factors and narratives. It is a portrait of a geographical and historical reality related to the island of São Tomé, in the West Coast of Africa.
The show displays places between ruins and the forest, between the utopian visions of the modernist avant-garde and the post-fall images of Socialism and its ideologies. The past reappears, transformed into the present, in a transcendent process of rebirth that in its ethereal quality has the potential to travel again from today to tomorrow.
All that burns melts into air (instead of All that is solid melts into air) suggests precisely the layers of a new manifest, referring to a socialist utopia now impregnated with an ecological meaning and urgency for change. Starting from the metaphor that everything that burns (in an attempt to extinguish memories) melts, and does so as a transformative process, the exhibition refers to social and political changes during the rise of the movements of liberation in Africa, or African Socialism.
The show explores the experience of modernity, its utopias and its remains, as ruins and forgotten memories engraved within the decay of abandoned buildings. All that burns melts into air is simultaneously about destructive and productive forces, and their constant process of destruction and renewal.
Mónica de Miranda is an artist and researcher. Born in Porto (Portugal) from Angolan parents, she actually describes herself as an artist working in the diaspora. Her work is based on themes of urban archaeology and personal geographies.
She holds a Visual Arts Degree from the Camberwell College of Arts, a Masters Degree in Art and Education from the Institute of Education London and a PhD in Visual Art from the University of Middlesex. Mónica is also one of the founders of the artistic residences project Triangle Network in Portugal and she founded in 2014 the project Hangar Center for Artistic Research, in Lisbon.
In 2016 she was nominated for Novo Banco Photo Prize and exhibited at Museu Coleção Berado (Lisbon, Portugal) as finalist. Mónica was also nominated for Prix Pictet Photo Award in the same year.
Her work is present in public collections like MAAT, the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbekian, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado and Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa.