press release

The Museum as Performance September 12–13, 2020

The sixth edition of The Museum as Performance consolidates the fundamental premises of the programme, which have become apparent over the years. However, as it becomes impossible to forget the extraordinary context of 2020, this new edition will not only "highlight the crucial role of performative arts in the history and identity of the Serralves Museum," but it also frames an opportunity to address the complexities and challenges of presenting projects that require the sharing of the same space by viewers and artists today, which is the case of the so-called live arts. How so? Strategies and approaches were based to a large extent on the observation and tuning in with the artists’ questions and practices, informed by the present conditions. The idea of crisis, even before the pandemic, is not new to artists who work in places that are difficult to define, as they explore the increasingly blurred boundaries between performative and visual arts to produce works that entail the collaboration between technically distinct areas. The reflection on a crisis that was at once unforeseen and expected should also serve to think, react and even try out possibilities for change.

This year’s programme once again includes Portuguese and foreign artists. It proposes several paths into the complexity of reality, namely a deceleration that might allow for an inquiring into the confusing and non-stop turbulence and excess of the times in which we live. For several projects, that deceleration is linked to the duration, as they develop over long time periods. For the artists, the durational performances represent a physical investment that explores intensity (a term that must be understood in its multiple senses), and which allows the audience to experience different modalities of attention across projects that call for a reflection on the unstable balance on which many of our beliefs about art, life and the relationship between the two are based.

As Serralves questions its own place by presenting a group of artists and works that offer a web of disciplinary encounters and intersections, including performance, dance, music, installation, drawing, sculpture and cinema, it also explores the possibilities and potentialities of the diversification of rhythms of engagement with the works, with the context of this programme and with the condition of being here, now and together.

Máiréad Delaney, José Alberto Gomes & João Dias, David Helbich, Vanda Madureira, Sara Manente, Christophe Albertijn, Ondine Cloez, Michiel Reynaert, Dori Nigro & Paulo Pinto, Ula Sickle, Gustavo Sumpta, André Uerba, Sara Vaz & Marco Balesteros

Curated by:
Cristina Grande, Pedro Rocha, Ricardo Nicolau