JOURNEYS IN NO MAN’S LAND
Borderlovers is a Portuguese artist duo composed by Ivo Bassanti and Pedro Amaral.
Their work focuses mainly on the areas of painting and drawing, but also explores video and sound.
They met at the turn of the millennium in the dynamic artistic scene of the 90s, a decade that was marked in Portugal by alternative artistic projects and exhibitions to its institutional system and industry. They quickly became friends and soon accomplices and compagnons de route. The ZDB Gallery, where Bassanti had his studio for many years and where both participated in several exhibitions and the cycle of exhibitions “Too Drunk to Fuck” commissioned by the artist João Fonte Santa, were the two contexts in which they have come closest.
In 2010 the first serious talks about the mutual desire to create and develop work as an artist duo take place. Both made other partnerships – Amaral with Sparring Partners (collective project of contemporary art founded in 1995 with Alice Geirinhas and João Fonte Santa) and Bassanti with Binau, among others. The name Borderlovers appears at this point. It begins by being a self-irony exercise because both are by that time dealing with psychiatric problems and is a reference / deviation from the clinical concept borderline.
In March / April 2017 they make an artistic residence at the Corny Boots Studios, Bassanti’s productive structure in Lagery, France. During five weeks of great production they materialize a considerable body of work. There is an urgency to produce that is not compatible with the academic scruples and they find solutions to continue their collaboration remotely with the help of communication technologies. The accident and chance to which both had always attached great importance in their individual work becomes almost a dogma. But it is a liberating and gestural dogma, made of brushstrokes and dripping. They are joined by a passion for representation, appropriation, ink, quantity and improvisation. Painting as a constant adventure. The passion for travelling also connects them. The physical journey (Bassanti made remarkable journeys and artistic residences in India, Brazil and Cabo Verde, among others) and the journey meaning life and creation, as well as small journeys that happen whenever one starts a new project.
They like to refer to the Christmas Truce (term used to describe the unofficial ceasefires that occurred along the Western Front during World War I in Christmas of 1914) as a sort of avatar of Borderlovers work and thoughts.