Super 8 Father

The soundtrack could well be ‘Song for my Father’ by Horace Silver. These images are the most unusual and unexpected of these ‘Moments’. The reencounter with my father thanks to the Super 8mmmovies he bequeathed to me. I can’t imagine if he knew that I’d watch them with the age he recorded them. The adventure just started. Memory takes new bends. «He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.» Walter Benjamin.

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A banda sonora poderia ser ‘Song for my Father’ de Horace Silver. Estas imagens são o mais inusitado e inesperado destes ‘Moments’. O reencontro com o meu pai por graças dos filmes Super 8mm que ele me legou, não imagino se sabendo que eu só veria com a idade com que o meu os filmou. A aventura mal começou. A memória dá curvas novas: «Quem procura aproximar-se do seu próprio passado tem de se comportar como um homem que escava». Walter Benjamin.


Old (and new) friends.


The opening of VICENTE’17 and the launching of the book ‘On the Silence of the Crows, Animal Vicente’ (a beautiful design by Paulo Condez/NADA) was the opportunity for several very rare moments. The photos don’t lie, it was redemptive fun!

There’s me in the company of the the loveliest of characters: not far from architects Madalena Folgado (whom I met for the first time in the opening) and Carlos Lampreia, with whom I share for a long time a conversation on the relation between (land) art and architecture; between Friar Rui Grácio, a new holistic friend, and José Manuel Anes – an old friend and someone I admire for many reasons, among which the blend of cross-disciplinary knowledge, never-ending curiosity and timely sense of humor; between JOH – Jorge Humberto – whom I have shared the floor in my first proper exhibition (don’t ask us the date!) and later curated more than once  – and Jorge das Neves Branco – closest colleague at Fine Arts School and a very very special sculptor (my first ever curatorial ‘victim’); between JER [José Eduardo Rocha] – composer and my hero since the Eighties (also from the times of Fine Arts School) – and my dearest artist friend Dominik Lejman, whom I met in the framework of Skyway, back in 2009; between Levina Valentim and Agata Wiorko – the former a most joyfully literate and bright of minds, the latter the most intuitive nomad babe; not far from Pedro Teixeira da Mota and José Luís de Matos [talking to Catarina Pombo Nabais and Fábia Fernandes], truly living repositories of Ancient knowledge and love.

Glorious resonances. An informal web of affects and ideas. The photos are by Bruno Barata, courtesy PTE.




A inauguração do VICENTE’17 e o lançamento de ‘Do Silêncio dos Corvos, Animal Vicente’ (um belo design por Paulo Condez/NADA) foi oportunidade para vários momentos raros. As fotos não mentem, foi prazer e redenção.

E lá estou eu na companhia de várias personagens admiráveis: não longe dos arquitectos Madalena Folgado (que conheci pela primeira vez na inauguração) e Carlos Lampreia, com quem há muito partilho uma conversação sobre a (Land) arte e a arquitectura; entre Frei Rui Grácio, um novo amigo holístico, e José Manuel Anes – um velho amigo que admiro por muitas razões, entre as quais a mistura de conhecimento interdisciplinar, infinda curiosidade e sentido de humor; entre JOH – com quem partilhei a minha primeira exposição propriamente dita e com quem viria a colaborar como criador, mais do que uma vez – e Jorge das Neves Branco – colega de Belas Artes e um escultor muito especial (vítima da minha primeira ‘curadoria’); entre JER [José Eduardo Rocha], compositor e meu herói também desde os tempos de Belas Artes – e o meu querido artista e amigo Dominik Lejman; entre Levina Valentim e Agata Wiorko – a primeira a mais jovialmente literata das mentes e a segunda e mais intuitiva nomad babe [isto fica giro traduzido: miúda nómada]; perto de Pedro Teixeira da Mota e José Luís de Matos [de costas, Catarina Pombo Nabais e Fábia Fernandes], verdadeiros repositórios vivos de conhecimento e amor.

Gloriosas ressonâncias. Uma teia informal de afectos e ideias. As fotografias são de Bruno Barata, cortesia PTE.

Ora pro nobis


Dominik Lejman finally in town! His mesmerizing work “Portrait of a Philosopher (Warren Niesłuchowski)” is as a matter of fact currently exhibited at Leal Rios Foundation (accompanying in the video room the excellent ‘Near Fields’ show). A slightly different version from the one I’ve showed in Tallinn. But only now – since our serendipitous crossing of paths for SKYWAY and LUX SCIENTIA – we finally manage to produce a show in Portugal. And hey! in the framework, no less, than of the seventh edition of VICENTE. The fact is that the encounter is always miraculously the same, a highly energetic exchange: we just enjoy mixing our highly frugal set of subjects: philosophy, art… art, philosophy… For some images of Lejman’s engaging public projections, her click here. And here for his more than timely proposal for the Polish Pavilion in Venice 2017. Of course it had to be rejected.


Dominik Lejman finalmente por cá! “Portrait of a Philosopher (Warren Niesłuchowski)” é a obra actualmente em exibição na Fundação Leal Rios (acompanhando na sala de vídeo a excelente exposição ‘Near Fields’). Mas só agora – depois de cruzarmos os nossos caminhos nos projectos SKYWAY e LUX SCIENTIU – produzimos finalmente uma exposição em Portugal. E logo para o VICENTE! A verdade é que o encontro é sempre miraculosamente o mesmo, uma troca altamente energética: adoramos misturar o nosso frugal naipe de assuntos: filosofia, arte… arte, filosofia… Clickar aqui para imagens das projecções urbanas de Lejman. E aqui para a sua mais do que premente proposta para o Pavilhão da Polónia em Veneza. Evidentemente que não poderia ter sido seleccionada.



Men in Blue

MC+ADDThis was one of those inevitable meetings. I find the work of Diogo Machado aka ADD FUEL of a most impeccable aesthetic regularity. I follow him since one of my Urban Communication students at, some years ago, showed me his urban interventions in Google Images. It was complicity at first sight. His visual language seduces for the ironical clash-dialogue between modernity and tradition. Between the usefully pleasant and a subtle excess. Yes, it’s soft, ornamental and suave [pun intended]. And Portuguese! And so what? It’s a pleasure to announce his participation in VICENTE’17. And, moreover, to know that this artist will soon join the Ceramic gallery of Av. Infante Santo. Truly the urban art gallery in town. The initiative was by the Estrela Parish Council. Adding fuel to the fire of the likes of Maria Keil and Eduardo Nery. The cherry on top of the cake – sweet, sour…? – let’s see, depends on the future resonance of the intervention with the everyday of the area – is the fact that it will be a permanent work. This september on. This was one of those inevitable meetings. Diogo with his blue… eyes. Me with my blue… shades. Men in blue.

DSCF0018Este foi daqueles encontros inevitáveis. Considero o labor do Diogo Machado aka ADD FUEL de uma impecável regularidade estética. Sigo o seu percurso desde que, há anos, um dos meus alunos de Comunicação Urbana na ESAD.CR mo mostrou no Google Images – e foi cumplicidade à primeira vista. É uma linguagem que me seduz pelo irónico confronto-diálogo entre modernidade e tradição. Entre o útil-agradável e um excesso-subtil. Sim, é soft, é decorativo, é suave. E Português! E então? É um prazer anunciar a sua participação no VICENTE’17. E, mais ainda, é um prazer saber que é um artista que agora se junta à Galeria Cerâmica que há muito tornou a Av. Infante Santo em Lisboa numa genuína – essa sim – galeria de arte urbana. Bela iniciativa da Junta de Freguesia da Estrelaacrescentar combustível ao fogo de Maria Keil ou Eduardo Nery. A cereja no topo do bolo – amarga, doce, não interessa, até porque a obra ainda não está feita nem teve ainda a oportunidade de entrar (ou não) em ressonância com a vivência quotidiana – é a obra ser permanente. Inaugura este setembro. Este foi daqueles encontros inevitáveis. Ele com os seus olhos azuis, eu com os meus… óculos de sol azuis… Men in blue.


With Gisella Gellini in Brera

November, 19, 2013. A special session indeed. Gisella Gellini from Politecnico di Milano invited me for this talk in Academia di Brera, on art and communication. My good friend artist Marco Brianza on my side, that was cool! Topic: «The Temple and the Device: the rhetorics of display and the economy of passions».

19 de Novembro, 2013. Uma sessão certamente especial. Gisella Gellini do Politecnico di Milano convidou-me para esta conferência na Accademia di Brera sobre arte e comunicação. O meu bom amigo, o artista Marco Brianza, ao meu lado, isso é que foi! Assunto: «O Templo e o Dispositivo: a retórica do display e a economia das paixões».

UALG! (With) Xana.

Just dis/recovered this nicely boring video of my talk at UALG, in the South edge of Portugal. One of my usual lullabies (presentations of the book ‘Arte na Cidade’), to the ‘music’ of great master-artists Xana, Pedro Cabral Santo and Tiago Baptista. Third of the Talks ‘Ciclo de Artes Visuais’. The event invited artists, curators and thinkers to share their path, debate possibilities and choices, showing work they realized and transformed them. It all happened the 16th of december, 2014. Courtesy CIAC.

Acabo de re-descobrir esta chatíssima palestra na UALG, a Sul. Terceira palestra do Ciclo de Artes Visuais, no anfiteatro 0.4 do Complexo Pedagógico do Campus da Penha. Uma das minhas usuais cantilenas de apresentação do livro ‘Arte na Cidade’ (Círculo de Leitores/Temas e Debates, 2014), ao som dos mestres-artistas Xana, Pedro Cabral Santo e Tiago Baptista. O evento convidou artistas, curadores e teóricos a apresentar os seus percursos, discutir possibilidades e escolhas, mostrando o trabalho que realizaram e que os transformou nos artistas que são hoje. Aconteceu tudo a 16 de Dezembro de 2014. Cortesia CIAC.

First Floor, turn left, meet Val

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Believe it or not, we met exactly ten years ago, in Venice, in front of Joana Vasconcelos’ unavoidable stainless steel pan shoe. I was loudly crying out something like ‘Art should be spiritual…’. She mercilessly interrupted me and the debate went on until morning. She’s doing a hell of a job in Zimbabwe, where she found love and a true cultural mission. An educator and a researcher, one of her passions is to support emerging and contemporary art. Valerie is the co-founder (in 2009) of First Floor Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe’s first contemporary emerging artist run initiative, where she is the Director of Education and International Projects. This time we arranged to meet at Ivory Coast Pavilion, where were were welcomed by the warm intensity of the wonderful work of Koko Bi. See you soon, Val! Glad to meet, Koko Bi!




The dilemma of Orestis

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Congrats, curator Orestis Andreadakis [in the photo] an artist George Drivas!  The narrative video installation ‘Laboratory of Dilemmas’ was indeed a very good surprise in the Greek Pavilion in the Giardini, presenting and connecting key-aspects of two distant worlds: the words of Ancient tragedy and the image of Contemporary Cinema. The impact was certainly heightened by the mesmerizing (and after all, surprising) presence of one of my divas, Charlotte Rampling, but no less enchanting is how the debate develops on the screen, bringing Aeschylus’ Iketides (Suppliant Women, 464-463 b.c) – the first literary text in history that raises the issue of a persecuted group of people seeking for asylum (!) – back to life in the most pertinent of moments: the refugee crisis. Ironic. Brilliant. Tragic.

Green Bate Bola


Nicola Green is an English portrait artist who rose to prominence in the late 1990s, earning international acclaim for her keen ability to draw out the essence of her subject, whether observing an individual or exploring wider social and cultural issues. She seeks to reveal human stories by creating her finished work from extensive primary material. It was a pleasure to meet her at the critically-acclaimed Diaspora Pavilion in Venice. As an artist and a mentor of the project, she warmly explained to me her experiments with pattern, collage and repetition, colour and composition rendering the final form. Important to note: «In the last ten years she started to apply her own interests and experience in her work to embrace social themes of identity, faith, power and leadership.» Her gorgeous works under the title ‘Bate Bola’ are good examples of such kind of move.

Eunice, Filipe & Co.


Beautifully ‘framed’ by two artists who finally met. Eunice Artur and Filipe Garcia. At the launching of  the very first Portuguese Emerging Art catalogue by  EMERGE, an innovative project by Daniela Ambrósio and Jorge Reis (with Ana Sécio). You may read my text for the occasion here. But far more exciting is to run to the bookshops and acknowledge the radically beautiful work of Artur and Garcia, as well as of others who manage to share their inner world in a most assertive way.

In the book, sculptor Simeon Nelson puts it in a gorgeous way: «Becoming an artist is learning to be both empirical and rational, developing through rigorous exercise acute observational powers and prodigious internal structuring systems that are needed for critical and responsible creative practice. Its is necessary to see the whole in the fragment and the fragmentary nature of the whole. Artists need to stand-under-things and cast the net of their senses over things. We need to operate from a radical empathy, seeing themselves as part of the world we are reformulating in their work. An authentic voice arises from this engagement, from developing good creative habits that engender a sense of constant wonder and rigorous questioning. Voltaire said “celebrate those who seek the truth, fear those who find it”.»



Belissimamente ’emoldurado’ por dois criadores que finalmente se conheceram. A Eunice Artur e o Filipe Garcia. Por ocasião do lançamento do primeiríssimo catálogo da EMERGE – Portuguese Emerging Art, inovador projecto de Daniela Ambrósio e Jorge Reis (com Ana Sécio). Pode ler-se o meu texto para a ocasião aqui. Mas melhor será conhecer o quanto antes o labor radicalmente belo de Artur e Garcia, bem como de outros que assim procuraram tornar o seu mundo interior mais partilhado, no mais assertivo dos modos. É nesse sentido que vai o texto do escultor inglês Simeon Nelson, que mais acima se reproduz.