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On the occasion of the 2007 Berlinale, João Penalva will present his most recent videowork in the daadgalerie. The roar of lions was filmed in Berlin during the long, cold winter of 2005, at the centre of the frozen lake known as Grunewaldsee, on the greenbelt surrounding the city. A forest rich in history, the Grunewald is also a leisure spot and the residential area of an affluent class. Penalva says that his work "[…] could almost be seen as the documentary of a bucolic place and its population of grown-ups, children and pets at play at a certain time, on a certain day. But while the projected image remains familiar, the narrator will lead the viewer to visualize other images of other places, people and sounds, and question how much it takes for all that seems familiar and safe to become unknown and menacing. Could it be that parallel worlds co-habit our minds? Where does dreamland begin?"

Spoken in Mandarin Chinese, the 37 minute long film is subtitled by Penalva’s own English text, which is spoken in translation. In another quote, Penalva also comments that, "The understanding of how time has been compounded here hinges on only one word — the last to be heard. It functions as the folding where the end of the film is actually its beginning."

João Penalva was born in Lisbon in 1949 and has lived and worked in London from 1976.

In 2003-2004 João Penalva was awarded the Berlin DAAD Artists Residency.

He represented Portugal in the XXIII Bienal Internacional de Sao Paulo, 1996, and in the Portuguese Pavilion, XLIX Biennale di Venezia, 2001. He exhibited also in the Berlin Biennale 2, 2001, and the Biennale of Sydney, 2002. 

Solo exhibitions include Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, and Frac Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier, 1999; Camden Arts Centre, London; Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck; Tramway, Glasgow, 2000; Rooseum Centre for Contemporary Art, Malmö, 2002; Institute of Visual Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and The Power Plant, Toronto, 2003; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, and Ludwig Museum Budapest, 2005; Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2006.


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