Sights and Sounds: Portugal

Sights and Sounds: Portugal  | Events Calendar
abriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty, Liberdade, 2011, super-16mm film transferred to HD video, sound, 17 min., 30 sec. Artwork © Mutual Respect Productions, all rights reserved

Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty, Salomé Lamas, Nástio Mosquito, and Pere Ortín

Upper E Side

Opening from

On View

The Jewish Museum | 1109 5th Ave at 92nd Street

Curated by Miguel Amado

Sights and Sounds: Portugal features new work by Gabriel Abrantes and Benjamin Crotty, Salomé Lamas, and a pair of videos by Nástio Mosquito and Pere Ortín, selected by Miguel Amado.

Portuguese artists have been experimenting with film and video since the 1960s. However, these media – particularly video – only became popular in the Portuguese art scene in the late 1990s, primarily within a group of emerging artists who explored the nature of the moving image.

A decade later, a generation of young artists – including Gabriel Abrantes and Salomé Lamas – further developed video, as well as film. Although their output is diverse in style and subject matter, all emphasize cinematic narrative, and share an approach to the real in which fact and fiction are blurred. Their works are presented both in art galleries and film festivals, eroding typical disciplinary boundaries.

Artists in Angola, Mozambique, and other African countries that were formerly Portuguese colonies frequently show their work in Portugal. The country has, in consequence, become a hub for the wider international dissemination of their art. In Africa artists are employing film and video more and more, in parallel with media such as painting and sculpture. The videos of the Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito – often visual companions to his spoken-word performances – illustrate some of the output from the region. They consider the Eurocentric representation of the other to examine the legacy of colonialism.

This selection focuses on the intersection of the social with personal identity. Lamas looks at a community in Lisbon, reconstructing the experience of its members through memory. Abrantes tells a love story between Liberdade and Betty, an immigrant Chinese girl, set in Luanda, the capital of Angola. Mosquito creates an iconography drawn from archive material to map stereotypes and conflicts. Although poetic, the featured works express politics – in history and in geography.

Miguel Amado

Miguel Amado (b. Coimbra, 1973) is a curator and critic based in Barcelona and Lisbon. He was the curator of the Portuguese Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale and has worked on or organized exhibitions at such institutions as Tate St Ives, England; Rhizome at the New Museum, New York; the Abrons Arts Center, New York; apexart, New York; and the Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra. His writing appears regularly in Artforum. He holds a Master’s degree in curating contemporary art from the Royal College of Art, London.





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