As part of the France-Portugal 2022 season, Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine looks at contemporary Portuguese creativity through the exhibition Peninsula started. An opportunity for beautiful artistic discoveries.
The first question that comes to mind when visiting the exhibition Peninsula started Why aren’t Portuguese contemporary and contemporary artists so well known outside their country’s borders? While the works shown here fit easily into the global art scene, why are some artists being introduced for the first time in France?
The exhibition proposes, in an objective commentary, that we discover contemporary Portuguese art. There is no flight in the strict sense of the word, but rather a juxtaposition of great ideas that make up the constellation from which emerges an impressionist picture of art and its artists. In fact, there was no current or major school, apart from that PO.EX In the 1960s and 1970s, it was an avant-garde group of concrete poetry, which made it difficult to place them artistically and historically.
In order to understand current artists, curator Anne Boonen traces back to 1960s productions and thus brings together several generations of artists. From there, connections are drawn, influences posited, and kinship reconfigured. But it seems that independence and individuality prevail here. Is interpretation required in the country’s history? In the face of forty years of dictatorship, has character development been the solution to resistance to censorship and a unifying national narrative? We can also evoke the ten-year war of liberation of Mozambique, the former Portuguese colony (1964-1974) as a crucial element of Portuguese society, and therefore of its artists.
Dictatorship and war impose mitigating pressures on society that lead to a loss of tendencies. If some resort to ancient history, such as Baroque poetry Anna Hatherley where Tavares dining room, with the aim of finding the origins of their history, before it was camouflaged by Salazar. Others decided to leave the country, especially to Paris and London. find among them Lord Castroher husband Renee Berthollo where Manuel Alveswho are opening up to international movements like Fluxus and backing away from their country.
Two of the topics covered show a focus on the body and its immediate surroundings, in a minimally invasive approach. The body, its transformations, and everyday objects are indeed powerful landmarks, known and controllable elements of a society that limits gestures and thoughts. for Armanda DuarteThis approach is also a statement against current overproduction. Gaetanwhich we discovered in one of the gallery’s micro-studies, draws the model he knows best using his non-dominant hand in his self-portraits, thus questioning his acting habits.
Through 135 works, Peninsula started It offers an artistic exploration of our times when pandemic and energy crisis prompt us to reconsider our ways of travel. We leave closer to home, to discover landscapes both familiar and new, to realize the richness of our rather close environment. Thus, we can seize, with a certain pleasure, the infinite range of what is left to us to explore.
From September 16, 2022 to February 26, 2023
Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MECA – Bordeaux
Visuals: 1-2-5- Scenes from FRAC MECA 2022 Les Péninsules Démarées – Photo credit: Aurélien Mole / 3- Manuel Alvess, “Isaías”, 1970, coll. Alvess, long-term loan to Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto/4- René Berthelo, Marital Literature, 1966, Fundação de Serralves collection – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto