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EXIST/RESIST – Works by Didier Fiúza Faustino: 1995–2022
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Curator: Pelin Tan

EXIST/RESIST is the first institutional exhibition surveying almost thirty years of practice of Didier Fiúza Faustino (b. 1968), the French-Portuguese experimentalist whose work has consistently provoked and transgressed the formal and conceptual demarcations between architecture, design and art.


Taking its title from two separate pieces (Exist, 2016; Resist, 2017) the exhibition reveals a propelling tension present throughout Faustino’s creative explorations and its continued resonance in face of the aggravating conditions of physical and mental survival in the world today. Whether taking the shape of installations, films, sculptures, editorial projects, temporary architecture, or built-work, the “body” there emerges as a recurring trope and measure of individuation and, as such, as an economic and political site of struggle. 


This exhibition curated by Pelin Tan brings together a vast selection of works, preparatory materials, and prototypes for the first time – drawings, photos, models, large-scale installations, films, and objects, revolving around four core strands of research that recur in Faustino’s work: Housing and Dwelling, Borders of Bodies, Design as Resistance, Agonism in Public Space. Featuring both past and newly created pieces, loans from international collections and never-seen-before documentation from the artist-architect’s private archive, the show is set in a scenography designed by Faustino’s studio – Mésarchitecture –, and conceptually devised to put in dialogue two core areas of the museum and thus create two distinctive spatial experiences.   


In the iconic oval gallery, the large-scale structure towering at its axis is an analogic data centre, an inverted panoptic white room and a T.A.Z. (temporary autonomous zone) presented as an ex nihilo of the artist-architect studio, which plays host to the core body of works in this mid-career retrospective.


Situated alongside this structure is the newly created installation Democracia Portátil [Mobile Democracy], 2016–2022, a radical proposition inviting the audience to face the possibilities and impossibilities of being public which will become the stage of a series of events, presentations and performances all throughout the duration of the show.      


In turn, the second room is designed as a performative space for the audience to engage with Faustino's artistic and design thinking. Visitors are presented with a spatial and sensorial environment of loose formations, a maze constructed by the integration of re-edited pieces.


On the occasion of this unprecedented exhibition, a new book-as-manifesto is published by Lars Müller Publishers in two separate French and English editions. Edited by Christophe Le Gac, Architecture for Disquiet Bodies offers a comprehensive overview of more than 25 years of unique creations. Contributors include Marie-Hélène Fabre, Christophe Le Gac, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Pelin Tan, Troy Conrad Therrien. 


The exhibition includes loans from: Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Frac Centre – Val de Loire, Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels, Galeria Filomena Soares, Yves Klein Archive, and the Centre Pompidou. 


Curator: Pelin Tan
Exhibition design: Mésarchitecture (Paris: Marie-Hélène Fabre, Pascal Mazoyer; Guillaume Viaud; Lisbon: André Antunes, Sérgio Brito, Kevin Conlin, Tiago Pinto de Carvalho, Sónia Sousa) 
Graphic design: Turbo
Technical support: ArtWorks, Atelier Franck Mangon, Dahinden, Initial, Mecaltex, TransJM

Avec la participation et le soutien de l’Institut français du Portugal.




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MAAT Gallery
MAAT Gallery
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