Not a lot of text to go through for this publication, but a fascinating one to work on nonetheless: a catalogue to accompany an exhibition of work by Waldemar d’Orey. After his first solo show in 1966 at the Axiom Gallery in London, Waldemar d’Orey’s second solo show took place after 55 years at Lumiar Cité in Lisbon. A resurrection of a work of art, which was mysteriously lost during the artist’s swingeing London days in the 1960s, constituted the core of d’Orey’s show. The kinetic cantilevering sculpture Mobile appeared on the cover of the prestigious Whitechapel Gallery catalogue New Generation: 1965, photographed by the no less prestigious photographer Lord Snowdon. At the time, however, Mobile was notably absent in the exhibition itself. All that was left were the cover image of the catalogue, together with some other washed-out shots as well as the artist’s vivid memories.
Although a modest publication accompanying a modest show, this catalogue – and the whole story around d’Orey’s time in London and him being part of a well-known exhibition – underlined for me that such publications can be so much more than simple afterlives of what once was. Edited by Jürgen Bock, Manuel Costa Cabral, Teresa Costa Cabral and Waldemar d’Orey, the book contains an introduction by Jürgen Bock and Manuel Costa Cabral as well as essays by Penelope Curtis (whom I bumped into in London not long after), Daniel Madeira and Catarina Rosendo and an interview Waldemar d’Orey gave Gene Baro.