Architect Pedro Léger Pereira’s new collection of ‘fourth-dimension’ objects, as he has coined them, attempts to make sense of the age old philosophical problem of the space-time continuum.

'Distances', on display in St Francis’ Old Convent at the University of Lisbon, comprises seven geomoetric sculptures, which document a single object's attempt to break free of the confines of a 3-D space. A bit like a futuristic game of Tetris, each sculpture gains an angular new appendage, until finally, it is completely self-entwined and can progress no more. 

Thankfully, the exhibition also represents ‘distance’ of a more familiar kind. Lisbon-born Pereira has been living and practicing in Norway since 2013. Yet, ‘Lisbon is the city that Pedro recalls every day with mixed feelings of nostalgia and detachment: its light, its colours, its volumes, its movement’, curator and friend Jose Esteves tells Wallpaper*. 'Pedro made a point that his first exhibition in Portugal since he moved to Norway must be in this very place.' With this in mind, the exhibition becomes less about highbrow relational philosophy, and more about an ex-pat Portuguese architect using this site-specific installation as a way of reconnecting with his hometown.

Indeed, the collection was created specifically for the space in the Faculty of Fine Arts. Just as Pereira’s sculptures show the effects of change, the sediments of time can be felt in the many additions and alterations to the original building, which has seen usage as a home, a convent and now an art school. The visible erosion of the exterior stonework provides a direct contrast to the 'perfect' lines and smooth surfaces of Pereira's objects, made from finely-grained African Albizia wood.

‘Distances’ concludes with an original video installation from director Rogério Taveira, which methodises blueprints of Pereira's first sketches and foam models. Esteves notes that the video has the same 'thematically aligned, mutual logic’ as the objects. The exhibition's systematic progression is so satisfying that the works are still accessible to those of us without a philosophy degree.