Gabriel Abrantes

Galeria Francisco Fino is delighted to announce Gabriel Abrantes’ participation in the group show Garganta, at Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães (CIAJG), from May 7th to September 18th.


Afra Eisma, Asgen Jorn & Noël Arnaud, Dalila Gonçalves, Gabriel Abrantes, Gabriela Mureb, Janaina Wagner, João Ferro Martins, La Chola Poblete, Leonor Teles, Luís Lazaro Matos, Oficina Arara, Rosa Ramalho and Tom Zé

Guest curator Raphael Fonseca


Gargoyles, throats and inverted norms.


The starting point for this exhibition is one of the gargoyles of the Church of Nossa Senhora de Oliveira, in the historic centre of Guimarães. Built between the 10th and 14th centuries, this religious building was an important pilgrimage site in Portugal. Its architecture is striking due to the “curious” presence of a gargoyle performing autofellatio. Gargoyles have a function that points to the etymology of their name: the French word “gargouille” and the Latin word “gurgulio” point to meanings that revolve around the notion of the throat. These fantastic beings are important means of draining rainwater and, therefore, they also drain the throats of these sacred buildings.


Looking at these architectural and sculptural elements from another perspective, their physical constitution catches our attention, often conveying the image of monsters and/or human bodies in activities considered to be unseemly. Gargoyles emit messages that are still interpreted to this day as moral warnings. They perform everything that the Christian faithful should avoid doing. Their vulgarity thus serves as an admonition.


Based on the many interpretive echoes caused by the figure of the gargoyle, this exhibition showcases artists’ works that transgress social norms – just as a gargoyle in the public space of Guimarães has generated different interpretations, discussions and knowledge for centuries. Some of the artists’ research focuses on creating figures that present themselves to the public as something on the border between social norms and “monstrosity”; how many heads do you need to make a chimera? Which social groups and human activities are associated with deviant attitudes and are therefore viewed phobically - as monstrous and eschatological - thus leading to persecution and the curtailment of freedoms?


Other works shown in the exhibition reflect research into the fields of sound, music and noise. We shouldn’t forget the guttural sounds that seem to be indecipherable, uttered by the throats of the most diverse beings. These noises are the opposite of those that derive from writing and reading, which other artists are interested in exploring, in terms of their archival gaze towards images and disruptive writing. How many words do you need to make a chimera?




07.05.2022 - 18.09.2022


Centro International das Artes José de Guimarães
Guimarães, Portugal

7 May 2022
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