Joana Rafael (b.1979) is an architect, researcher, lecturer and ghostwriter, currently based in Porto, Portugal, working between architecture, (issues of) ecology and visual culture. She holds a PhD (2017) in Visual Cultures and an MRes (2009) in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MA (2008) from the Metropolis Graduate Programme in Architecture and Urban Culture, run by the Centre for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona and a degree (2002) in Architecture from the University of Minho, Guimarães. Joana teaches Contextual Studies and Contemporary Culture -related courses, and is a member of ID+ (Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture) and CEGOT (Center for Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning). Joana is also a certified sustainable agriculture and biological farming practitioner.
Commissioned for Valise en Carton, an itinerant exhibition of riso prints curated by Inês Moreira and Parábola Critica, Associação Cultural
Household dust contains the archeological remains and trace materials of our bodily existence and of the city we live in. The clothes we wear, what we eat, of our pets and plants, remnants of the present and of the past, of lovers, the houses we inhabit as well as the erosion of our communities' mass-produced and mass-consumed material realities and the environments that hosts our houses. It hangs in the air, migrates in shape-shifting (aggregative and disintegrating) forms, gravitates towards and settles on (bordering) surfaces, amalgamates with moisture to become dirt.
In its eternal return, dust chronicles our individual activities and collective lives, turning surfaces into domestic battlefields, screens for inscription and projection of fantasies. Channeling Pollock, Dreaming of Shrimp and Cherry Blossoms document and play with these interpretations – disclosing dust as a kind of phenomenal community, a place where parts of all us, living beings and inanimate entities incessantly gather. Composing Domestic Dusts, (from Portuguese Pós Domésticos), the projects explore multi-dimensional alien realm in which we can find dreamlike formations through an animistic lens, as well as the realism of our fears in astonishing detail - related to the remains, fragments and particles – the ensemble of tiny units.