Brígida Machado: A Treatise on Companion Species



The exploitation of the habitat, adaptation to the environment or the tense relationship and dependence of human beings on new technologies are some of the issues present in Brígida Machado’s drawings.

The artist poses, with evident doses of sarcasm and humour, a succession of vignettes or unbounded compartments containing small scenes juxtaposed without solution of continuity, starring a strange cast of characters concentrated on carrying out different actions. Alongside them appears a whole repertoire of utensils and signs of very diverse signs, from work tools, household goods and technological or entertainment devices to danger warning signs or computer symbols and even a kind of polyhedron that acts as a disruptive element with which to introduce a certain notion of order into the chaos of so much feverish activity. The agility of the drawing and the vivid contrasts of colour that dot the compositions independently of the lines generate a profound dynamism that intensifies the nonsense and absurdity of each scene.

In other drawings, we observe a kind of towers erected by an unusual cast of hybrid beings between humans and other animals, which seem to suggest a possible coexistence between species and, in addition, the construction of other affections and relationships, perhaps because, as Donna Haraway pointed out, “we are, constitutively, companion species” who need each other, despite the unreasonableness of our behaviour and the absurdity of the civilisation we have built.


Top image: BRÍGIDA MACHADO, Remains, 2018. Mixed media on paper, 120 x 104 cm (Detail). ENQUIRY


BRÍGIDA MACHADO, Cash game, 2012. Mixed media on paper, 50 x 35 cm
BRÍGIDA MACHADO, Animal masks, 2012. Mixed media on paper, 50 x 35 cm