One of the most complex things in a curator’s job is to write about an exhibition that is yet to come, which exists only as an idea. The way a work is perceived in the privacy of a studio, or the intersemiotic translation generated from the oral description of a work still in process, is often inaccurate. Daniel Buren defines the studio as “a filter that exerts a double selection, the one that the artist does first, out of the outside gaze, and that made by the organizers of exhibitions and art dealers for the gaze of others.” Only when they leave this space do the works come into existence, passing “from one refuge to another”.
On this path between “refuges” the ideas that boil in an artist are externalized. Rising from the inside, they explode as they reach the surface. It is precisely in this process that one of the most fascinating aspects of Dalila Gonçalves’ practice is revealed: her unique way of thinking the matter/form and matter/spirit poles. As Georges Didi-Huberman points out, these are key elements in the stylistic and iconographic definition of a work. Perhaps for this reason, and in the light of Gonçalves’ multifaceted practice, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to categorize her works.
I have always considered Dalila Gonçalves as an artist who feels comfortable in the multiplicity of meanings, in dualities, in those places that make closed positions impossible. This is precisely what we find in Bulir, which, starting with its title, semantically places us between a smooth movement, the quick accomplishment of something, and the agitation of ideas in the imagination or thought. This may not be the most poetic title of her exhibitions, but it is surely the most personal. The choice of this title refers not only to the works that inhabit the RAC Foundation but also to Dalila Gonçalves’ artistic practice, in which time, pauses, rhythms, and waiting are fundamental to understand a very intimate process, beyond an exhibition space and everything that happens in it.
In this exhibition, Dalila Gonçalves shows us how to make the visitor bulir en balde, waiting for the moment in which each work breaks into the space and occupies it, either through slowly boiling water, the muted sound of a subtle touch, or the sound memory of objects. Airstreams is one of the works that temporarily occupies the space, in a kind of surrealistic dialogue between two inert birds. Using copper kettles, highly familiar objects of Portuguese popular culture, Dalila manages to control air, heat, and pressure, transforming immateriality into something audible that floods the space. This mastery of the immaterial is glimpsed once again in the videographic record of the subtle movement of the leaves that cover a building stripped of its identity.
Some of Gonçalves’ works make me believe in the spirit of the things used, in “the soul of those things that served one day for something and that we can never use without feeling uncomfortable.” The unsettling loss of pressure/sound relationship resonates as we approach Sonata. The gaze leads us to the silence of the pictures, to notes that are not played, but represented in silences of equal value or duration.
Bulir guides us along paths that show us how, through simple actions, it is possible to extract poetry from matter. The objects chosen by Dalila, an obsessive collector of insignificant things, leave their natural place, often invisible considering their uses, in search of a new identity that is disclosed to the viewer.
This exhibition demands from the viewer a reflective autonomy, which covers everything around him and creates silences. Words are not necessary, but mere accessories. What we need is to see, to be fully present.
 BUREN, Daniel. The Function of the Studio. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1979
 No seu texto "The order of Material: Plasticities, malaises, survivals", incluído en Materiality, Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art, 2015.
 “bulir en balde” is a Gallician saying that means “to waste time”.
 BRADBURY, Ray. Crónicas marcianas. Barcelona: Minotauro, 2020