Kunsthalle Lissabon presents Migrantes são bem-vindos, the first solo show in Portugal by the Argentinian artist Gabriel Chaile.
Sometimes a writing on a wall or a briefly glanced poster can touch us much more than a long speech that we have listened to carefully. Migrantes são bem-vindos is not only the title of the first exhibition in Lisbon by Gabriel Chaile, but it was also the writing on a poster that the artist ran into during the first lockdown he spent in Lisbon.
That poster, which probably felt like a sweet relief for the artist, announced the beginning of most of the projects that Chaile decided to carry out in the new city that had just welcomed him. In Lisbon he organized exhibitions in unexpected locations and founded independent spaces, being able, in a short time period, to smoothly penetrate the context of the city.
Each project couldn’t but include the participation of long-time friends and especially the sharing of knowledge, cultures and food. During this journey the personal stories, music and culinary traditions turned out to be the strongest unifiers, alongside the solidly built incentive to continue
feeling welcomed in that new city.
El Recolector is the name of the traveling cultural center that Gabriel Chaile imagined to collect all these elements in the shape of a nomadic gastronomic space, which travels from place to place collecting flavours, knowledge and generating new encounters.
The project El Recolector will take shape in the basement of Kunsthalle Lissabon as an ongoing laboratory where two ovens will be in constant development in which the artist and his friends will work during the entire duration of the exhibition, moving away from the idea of the exhibition as a finished object and turning it into a place in flux, for sharing ideas, affects and political imaginaries. This will be a further step into developing the design and the functionality of the prototypes in order to make them ready to go out to collect new stories and new experiences from which to be
fed (and feed).
Outside of the space Gabriel’s friend Aaron Jassiel Herrera Villarreal, a Mexican chef who lives in Lisbon and founded a pop-up project called Tacos El burro sin dueño, will welcome visitors during the opening reception with freshly baked tacos.
Always interested in promoting manual and artisanal aspects, Chaile’s work sits in between the utilitarian and the contemplative, never forgetting the sense of community. Conceiving sculptures and objects that collaborate in improving the conditions of a specific borderline situation and underlining the heritage that each object may carry with it are also two elements always present in Gabriel Chaile’s work.
If remembering our traditions seems to be what defines us, spreading and merging them with others is what allows traditions to survive over time. Gabriel Chaile seems to have perfectly understood the power of heritage and the importance of sharing it, not only to carry out an act of conservation, but above all to build new communities of friends, colleagues and families all united by what they hold most dear: the feeling of hospitality generosity and sociability.