Antoine Aguilar 

A Pale Bright Dot

July 8 - August 12, 2023  

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What is there in common between the laser pointers used by Chilean protesters during the Chile Desperto Movement (2019), the pixels and noise of a digital image, or the infrared photographic documentation of the deep universe produced by the James Webb Telescope (JWTS)? 

The exhibition title is a phrase coined in 1994 by Astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan in which the author reflects on the significance of the original infrared photographs capturing the insignificance of planet Earth in the great expanse of space from a record distance over six billion kilometres away. 

According to Sagan in the photographs the 'mechanical eye' sees Earth’s apparent size is less than a pixel. The scale and distance is unimaginable, so small it is impossible to see by human eye.

A Pale Bright Dot oscillates between the infinitely big to the infinitesimally small. In the framework of painting, Aguilar's version of the JWTS image series reveals the mechanical eye and provide the viewer with the possibility to see through the process of colourisation  what the natural human eye cannot see. 

Aguilar’s interest is to confront the viewer with the unbelievable scale and distance of the universe and question how we comprehend its vast encompassing galaxy with our impossibility to see what is in close proximity.

Antoine Aguilar graduated at Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes in 2004. His work is represented in the permanent public collections of Centre Pompidou Paris; Rosenblum Family Collection Paris; FMAC Paris; Collection Clinique Rhena (France), Ahrenberg Collection, Switzerland and in many private collections in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 

In 2014 Aguilar was the recipient for the residency program at Bundanon Trust, Art Gallery of NSW, Australia. This is the artists first presentation in Lisbon and Portugal. 

Antoine Aguilar 

Deep Field, (UN-12) 2023 Oil pastel on canvas on wood 48 x 35,5 cm  

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