Une communauté imaginée

XXXIIIe Ateliers internationaux

Sérgio Carronha, Mónica de Miranda, Musa paradisiaca, Rita Sobral Campos, Curator : Miguel Amado

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For the 33rd edition of the International Workshops at the Frac des Pays de la Loire, Laurence Gateau gives carte blanche to Portuguese artists!

The connection between art, politics, and territory is usually at the core of residencies and exhibitions that showcase artists in a country other than their own. This type of project can be seen as an instrument of nation building, with the works made by the artists and/or on display attempting to embody their country’s identity. But a country is an “imagined community,” as the theorist Benedict Anderson puts it, and thus any such project must take into consideration that national identities are contingent by nature.

The selected artists represent the various conditions that artists from or based in Portugal may have today: an African Portuguese woman based in Lisbon and educated in England; a woman from the LGBTQIA+ community based in New York; a man based in the rural countryside who works with an Italian gallery; and two Lisbon-based men who work collaboratively. They belong to four different generations, although all have emerged in the last twenty-five years. Some have a more conceptual practice, others a more sensorial approach; some focus on subject matter, others explore form. All use a variety of media, including installation, film, photography, sculpture, and writing. For some, the narratives and symbols associated with Portugal or the Portuguese context—whether the social fabric or the landscape—are deeply relevant to their work. For others, those elements are only a starting point or a background. Their lines of inquiry center on representation—that which enables a person to identify herself, himself, or theirself with the other, establishing (or not) an intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual connection.