Vhils makes an underwater exhibition in front of Santa Eulália beach, uniting art and biology

Innovative project will combine art with the biological component, creating an artificial reef

Thirteen works by the artist Vhils, made with deactivated EDP centerpieces, will be sunk off Santa Eulália beach (Albufeira) to create an unprecedented underwater exhibition. The application for a Title for Private Use of the National Maritime Space (TUPEM), will be under public consultation, on the website of the Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services (DGRM), between 23 August and 12 September.

Named EDP Art Reef, the underwater exhibition was designed “with the aim of generating a new artificial reef”, uniting “the artistic and biological component”. In the background, Vhils' set of artistic pieces will create an artificial reef. EDP ​​explains on its website, regarding this project, that it is about «decarbonizing to create».

According to DGRM, the underwater exhibition will feature 13 works by Vhils, consisting of “five sculptures made on inert concrete and mortar and eight sculptures in iron resulting from the dismantling of thermoelectric power plants” by EDP.

However, «all sculptures will be subject to a prior stripping and decontamination process to remove all traces of paint and other residues», so as not to cause negative impacts on the marine environment.

In addition to the creation of the exhibition site, whose visit will be free, the project also provides for the “monitoring of structures from the point of view of their colonization by the marine ecosystem and their population with corals recovered from accidental captures in bottom fishing nets or pulled out by storms».

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto (Vhils) will create an underwater exhibition with deactivated EDP power station pieces. “The artist will select some of these structures and produce pieces of art to be submerged, so that they are subject to the action of Nature”, explains the electrical company on its website.

“Vhils' mission reinforces the need for a rapid decarbonization of the planet and the reuse of materials to create new sustainable ecosystems. In the end, we will have a new artificial reef, which combines the artistic and biological components and which will also help to transform mentalities in favor of greater harmony with the planet”.

The artist himself explains what he is going to do, saying that it is about «uAn underwater exhibition also designed with the aim of generating a new artificial reef, which unites the artistic and biological components».

All this «will result in a work that will be transformed over time, by the influence of the elements and that will also help to transform mentalities in favor of greater harmony between us and the Planet».

Basically, concludes Vhils, it will be «a way to change, today, tomorrow».

The public consultation procedure was opened by DGRM at the request of the Albufeira City Council, for the attribution of a TUPEM, referring to the creation of a submerged exhibition site off Santa Eulália Beach. TUPEM will be granted in the form of an Authorization, valid for a maximum period of 10 years.


Here's the video in which Vhils explains what he's going to do: