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13/11/2021 - 13/11/2021


About public and private art collections 
with Pedro Lapa and Paulo Mendes

In this Backstage Talks’ session, the exhibition curator Paulo Mendes and the historian and curator Pedro Lapa are invited. The talk will focus on the issue of contemporary art collections, both public and private. Through the experience of our guests, who have worked several times on curatorial work from institutional or private collections and have been part of commissions for the acquisition of artworks, we will address the complex issue of collectionism and its strategies: how are they devised? How does public access take place with their musealisation or how are they set up as institutional models? What strategic paradigm should be considered for the various contemporary art collections that exist in Portugal? A horizon of possibilities and interpretations.

Pedro Lapa is a professor of History and Theory of Art at the School of Arts, University of Lisbon. He was artistic director of the Museu Coleção Berardo and, before that, of the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado. Lapa was also curator of the Ellipse Foundation. 
His main publications include Joaquim Rodrigo, a contínua reinvenção da pintura (2016), History and Interregnum. Three Works by Stan Douglas (2015), and James Coleman, Mediumspectrologies (2005). He has commissioned many exhibitions, the most recent being Joana Escoval: Mutações. The Last Poet (2020), André Romão. Fauna (2019), Pedro Neves Marques. Learning to live with the enemy (2017), Sharon Lockhart, My Little Loves (2017), Pedro Barateiro. Palmeiras Bravas/The Current Situation (2016), and Stan Douglas. Interregnum (2015).

Paulo Mendes is a visual artist, curator of exhibitions and producer of cultural projects. His work is presented both individually and collectively since the early 90s, and is represented in numerous public and private collections. Over the last thirty years, he participated in approximately three hundred curatorial and performative projects, having curated and produced more than seventy exhibitions, both independent and institutional, which marked the work development of a new generation of creators and provided him with an extensive knowledge of the Portuguese artistic practices.

About the curatorial project conception for the exhibition REHEARSAL FOR A COMMUNITY - PORTRAIT OF A COLLECTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION (TAKE 1)
with José Valente and Diogo Aguiar

A talk about the making of this exhibition project, bringing together some of its protagonists: the curator, Paulo Mendes, the architect who worked with him on the exhibition design, Diogo Aguiar, and the two creators he invited to produce original works for the exhibition.

The text by the writer Gonçalo M. Tavares and the music by the composer José Valente create the possibility for a new fiction, a different reading that can be established when meeting with the dozens of works present in this collection set-up, where the collective, social and political memory is summoned. Encouraging the participation of two creators from different disciplines in the visual arts arises from the purpose of intensifying the exhibition project's narrative polyphony.
In a first moment, there will be a tour of the exhibition, connecting the Tejo Power Station's industrial premises to a debate on the process of the exhibition project's conceptual development, and its consequent formalisation in space. This is a workplace, now a place of cultural production and consumption. 

The exhibition proposal challenges the visitors' expectations, creating a destabilization of the exhibition rules that became academic, providing the visitor with another vision through the immersive environment of the set-up, which emphasizes the reminiscences of its industrial past, in confrontation with the contemporary production of culture.

During this four-way talk, we will discuss the creative processes of each one and the dialogue between them towards the completion of the final project. How are the different working processes characterised? What are the determining factors in this process for the completion of the final work? 
To think of an exhibition is to conceive the production of an experience for the receiver, to create a non-theatrical but fictional space in a performative practice mode, as an exercise of drift and reflection.

José Valente is an award-winning composer and violist. He holds a PhD in Contemporary Arts from the University of Coimbra. Among the concerts he has participated in, the following stand out: Carnegie Hall (invited soloist), Union Square Park (solo concert), Imaxinasons Festival, Maria Matos Theatre, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Bookaroo Festival (India), Rauf R. Denktas Cultur and Congress Centre in Famagusta (Cyprus). He has worked with Paquito d'Rivera, Dave Douglas, Don Byron and Alberto Conde, among others. He has received the following awards: honourable mention in the 2009 Lopes-Graça Composition Prize, winner of the artistic projects competition Serralves em Festa 2010, 2014 Fnac New Talent and The Hannah S. and Samuel A. Cohn Memorial Foundation Endowed Fellowship (USA). His album Serpente Infinita was awarded the 2019 Carlos Paredes Prize. He composed Work, Word, Sound and Laziness in collaboration with Gonçalo M. Tavares and Paulo Mendes, a commission from maat. His forthcoming album Trégua, for viola and philharmonic band, is a winning project of the Phonographic Publishing Support by the GDA Foundation and the DGArtes Creation Support.

Diogo Aguiar is an architect from the School of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP, 2008). In 2016, he established the Diogo Aguiar Studio, which works on the frontiers of art and architecture. His practice has been distinguished in international awards, such as the BigMat Award, the FAD Awards or the Mies van der Rohe Award, and he was the winner of the Europe 40 Under 40 Award in 2019. Also in 2019, he was cocurator for architecture at the Maia Contemporary Art Biennale. In 2020, he was professor of design at ISCTE-IUL, and he has been professor of design at FAUP since 2021. He is also co-founder of Galeria de Arquitetura with Andreia Garcia.

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