A Bao A Qu (from the series Imaginary Beings - The Bestiary)
Intervention on inkjet print and gold leaf (imitation), magnets.
variable dimensions.


The title of the exhibition is inspired by the literary work The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luís Borges. In it, the author lists and describes several fantastic creatures created over time through legends, myths, and religions. A Bao a Qu, who Carla Cabanas materializes, is a character of the book, an imaginary being, emotionally sensitive, who only reaches its full form when one travels a path of individual growth, traversing diverse stages to reach spiritual maturity.

The sculpture A Bao A Qu is composed by photographs of the artist as a child, which act as a metaphor for her growth and are employed as material, rendering them visibility, and transferring them to a public setting. Installed in the laboratory’s centre, it is an allegory of the artist’s journey of personal growth as she aspires to reach the top of the tower and “to look out over the loveliest landscape in the world”. For this process to become conscious, the artist relives its stages, whose steps are winding and filled with scales.

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Sofia Marçal


Exhibition views of A Bao A Qu at National Museum of Natural History and Science – Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Portugal, 2022.
Documentation © Bruno Lopes