After thirty years working in the interstices between architecture, art and design or, rather say, observing how the human body crosses our world through norms, constrictions, migrations, sheltering and contradictions, French/Portugues ‘experimentalist’ Didier Fiúza Faustino (b. 1968) is finally on show with a mid-career retrospective at MAAT in Lisbon, open until March 3, 2023. Curated by Pelin Tan and strongly wanted by director Beatrice Leanza, who is concluding her mandate at the museum with this last show, “Exist/Resist” is an exhibition worth seeing for the piercing questions that are presented in the form of powerful pieces that include prototypes, photos, models, large-scale installations, films, and multi-sensorial design.
Faustino interrogates social norms and the way our bodies are forced to adapt to standardization and rules, breaking the notion of comfort. His Love me Tender chair, for example, is an aluminum chair with legs that end in the shape of spikes: you cannot use it without acknowledging that it will surely hurt the architecture it is placed into, as the spikes would penetrate and damage the floor. The exhibition is organized around four main topics that are recurrent in his work, “Housing and Dwelling”, “Borders of Bodies”, “Design as Resistance” and “Agonism in Public Space”. Here our conversation with him.