A Book

There is a book(let) about this amazing exhibition (I am not going to be humble here, I did love this show)

Works By Iris Eichenberg and me

Photos by João Peleteiro

Design by Aurea Praga

Text by Cristina Filipe

Let me know if you would like to own one.


Here is the text Cristina Filipe wrote:

(Un)finished conversation: the improbable encounter between Iris Eichenberg

and Marta Costa Reis


Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—

or indeed only one. 

Luke 10.41-42


Marta Costa Reis travelled across the Atlantic to meet Iris Eichenberg. A workshop in São Paulo. Because time is pressing.  She said. The urgency that took hold of Marta and led her towards this (im)probable encounter with Iris gave rise to an unfinished conversation between the work of both. 2017.


The 20th anniversary of the Reverso Gallery led to a new meeting in Lisbon. And today, in Munich, the programming for Schmuck has enabled a third meeting, and the symbiosis of two proposals. Never has the work of two artists been so complicit. I ask.


Hybrid. The installation of the deliberately unidentified pieces on two tables surprises us. At first it's not easy to identify the artists. At a second glance, there are references to Eichenberg. A pile of leather insoles, acquired in 1998 at the Feira da Ladra in Lisbon, return to their place of origin. Patiently, they have waited patiently for twenty years. 2018: The Little Cushion metaphorically underlines the place for the encounter with Costa Reis – whose rusted Pendant lying next to it signals the time that has elapsed.  


Both operate within this (re)visitation – conceptually and formally – outside a conscious state. Subconsciously, each artist finds her heteronym in the other.     


They overlap and intersect. There is a territorial communion sustained by the incessant impulse to be in the other.


Both look away. In the image that portrays them, both have the same expression in their eyes. The bodies have equal weight and volume. The pieces are on the same scale.


References to domesticity recur in their modus operandi. Daily gestures. Repetitions of the same gesture. Elements that are repeated. Both in form and content. Body and Spirit. Ex-votos and Prayers. I don't know. Martha's necklaces bear the word and "they also listen".  In their inherent rejection of function, Iris' pendants reverberate with the word that defines them. They tell us stories about themselves: “conscious that objects constitute us”. “ – I am interested in objects, not their value; often objects which have been discarded, dismissed”, she says. “–What is an ornament?”[1] She asks.


Knots, about us: “This is not fantasy, this is our life”[2].  “Everything is renewed”[3]. Marta Costa Reis encodes the words she quotes in polyester threadsMarta Costa Reis inserts the words she quotes with a writing system encoded in polyester threads. She intermittently and slowly introduces the visual signs that translate the word. She materialises that which is normally light and sound. She prefers silence in the dark. She teaches us to read what "the eyes can hear". And she listens to Iris Eichenberg: “– I like to bring things to a table. To place them side by side and see the objects communicate with each other”[4], in this unfinished conversation which is conducted with the rhythm of the changing seasons. 


“– What of importance do these old objects bring to the new world?”[5] Asks Iris.


– “Invent real tears, hard love,

         slow-spoken, ancient words,

         difficult as a child’s

         first steps across a room”[6]. Quotes Marta.



Cristina Filipe

February 2019


[1] EICHENBERG, Iris – Lecture presented at Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes, Lisbon, 19.07.2018.

[2] Excerpt from "The End of Science Fiction" by Lisel Mueller quoted on the necklace with the same name by Marta Costa Reis.

[3] Excerpt from "A Criação" (The Creation), a poem by Marta Costa Reis quoted on the necklace, from the same author, with the same title.

[4] EICHENBERG, Iris – Lecture presented at Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes, Lisbon, 19.07.2018.

[5] Ibid.

[6]Excerpt from "The End of Science Fiction" by Lisel Mueller, quoted on the necklace with the same title by Marta Costa Reis.