Carlos Bunga, ‘Something Necessary and Useful’

Carlos Bunga intervenes in architectural spaces by making ephemeral structures in situ from inexpensive materials such as cardboard, adhesive tape and household tape. ‘Something Necessary and Useful’ at the Whitechapel Gallery was the Portuguese artist’s first UK commission.

We designed the catalogue to encapsulate the makeshift nature of Bunga’s work, a publication belying its ad-hoc construction. By stitching a stack of bulky uncoated paper up the middle and trimming it only along the head and foot, the book remains obviously a pile of sheets folded in half.

The catalogue includes several strands of content that engage with the temporal and performative elements of Bunga’s practice. We allocated the top left corner of each spread to a thumbnail image of the exhibition’s installation. Viewed in sequence, they capture the gallery’s transformation. The front section features contextual essays about the artist’s career and past works. The back section documents a performance in the transformed gallery by choreographer Joe Moran and dancers. For the central section in colour, we art-directed photographer Nick Seaton to document the installation, the dancers and the changing qualities of the light over the period of a day. We wove the images into a visual essay emphasising the uncanny moments that arise from the passing of time in a space, and the juxtapositions of bodies, furniture and architectural details.

  • Year: 2020
  • Client: Whitechapel Gallery
  • Location: London
  • Category: Publication

Editors: Emily Butler and Inês Costa
Photography: Nick Seaton