João Maria Gusmão (Lisbon, 1979) and Pedro Paiva (Lisbon, 1977) met in the late nineties while studying Fine Art in Lisbon. Since then, their fascination for philosophy has marked their artistic work and was behind the publication of the philosophy magazine Eflúvio Magnético, which they founded in 2005. Their artistic collaboration, which they describe as a ‘philosophical-poetic fiction’, began in 2001. Focusing on literary texts and the history of science and philosophy, they have turned their work into a meeting point for science, fiction and mythology. Although they both pursue individual artistic careers, they also work together in the production of objects, installations, photographs and short 16 and 35 mm films. Fond of irony and the absurd, they use optical illusions, film media and obscure experiments to mistrust reason and show its limitations. Referencing occultism, speculative philosophy, the theatre of the absurd and science-fiction literature, their projects create dream scenarios that question the borders between science, perception, invention and magic.
Since their first major exhibition at the Museo do Chiado, Lisbon, in 2005, they have exhibited in galleries and institutions such as Kunstverein, Hannover (2009); Le Plateau, Paris (2011); Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf (2011); Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2014); and participated in international exhibitions such as the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2010); Venice Biennale (2009 and 2013); Manifesta (2008); and São Paulo Biennale (2006), among others. Their work is included in the collections of the Museo do Chiado, Fundação de Serralves, Oporto, and MACBA, Barcelona.