LISBON — A dark, solemn space is illuminated by two glowing projections in On Exile, a documentary project by Portuguese intermedia artist José Carlos Teixeira, on display at the Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia (MAAT). The first throws light down from above onto a plinth, presenting pages from a book titled The Refugee, written in 1957 by a German-Lithuanian philosopher named K.C. Cirtautas.
Teixeira has long been interested in “issues of home, belonging or not belonging.” I spoke with him at MAAT, where he was celebrating the launch of a book on his work. “I had begun to develop this project on the theme of refugees, and I was looking for some reference materials, so I went to that section of the library. All of a sudden I found all this amazing literature, and this specific book, which was not a book of data or statistics, was not a book from an NGO, or from 2005 — it was written in 1957, mostly about Jewish immigrants post-World War II, and it was a sociological survey.”