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Making sense of disperse assets

These last two or three decades city museums have occupied a major space among the museology debate. Archives, assets and estate are shown according to the identity of a place, as the remaining pieces of a collective memory. The Museum of Lisbon is one of these cases, with thousands of items, some of which with notable quality, that try to expose the different times of this city, its development, its folk, its materiality and immateriality.

Nevertheless, these are museums whose assets lack synthesis and during the process of gathering a curating no archive criteria was established. And this is how they became “museums of everything”. The variety of artefacts, expressions, media and techniques is incredibly large, from the sacred to the profane, from high art to low art, from the historic to the everyday life.

The exhibition Essays (over the table): from the collections of the Museum of Lisbon and the Museum of Bordalo Pinheiro, curated by the students of the course Art Curating, FCSH-UNL, was conceived according to this background. There was an urge to create a deliberate space for reunion, discussion and sharing, with the table as a centerpiece through which all conversations regarding the city, these museums and their collections, and art could take place.

The program of the exhibition signaled 23 and 24 of September as marathon day, when several speakers are invited to talk about nuclear and tangent issues present in the show, in 10 minute sessions.

The site of the project is also an important piece of information and documentation, a sort of generative catalogue that updates all that goes through the exhibition. Check ensaiossobreamesa.weebly.com.

Essays (over the table): from the collections of the Museum of Lisbon and the Museum of Bordalo Pinheiro is hosted in Galeria Quadrum [Quadrum Gallery] until 1 October.

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