2nd Edition of POSTER

By the time someone reads these lines, the DJs and the bands are already silent and all the micro-events have been put to sleep, which took place until October 14, during the opening of the 2nd edition of POSTER. However, the event’s very essence – the artistic contribution of 25 designers, illustrators, photographers, writers, choreographers – will continue to exist in the walls of Marvila until November 14. Yet another great reason to visit an area of Lisbon that deserves to be better known.

In 2016, Marvila was turning itself into of the most creative areas in Lisbon. Such is a rather typical cycle in major cities – an area relatively inhabited, with a higher density of warehouses available for appealing prices, starts to be occupied by artists who are looking for spaces they can afford. After them, coffees, restaurants, more artists and art galleries all start to emerge. Little by little, an area that once used to be inhabited by a small group of older people, becomes the “next big thing”. The boost then continues, buildings are refurbished, however, at the very same time, the prices per m2 reach new heights and the permanence of those who wanted to be there in the first place becomes a challenge.

In 2017, Marvila has yet to reach that plateau, but is on its way to. Right now, we can say that is living its picture-perfect moment and that was the reason that made Bruno Pereira (accountable for Departamento, the “cultural amplifier” behind the event) choose this area to hold the show again. “Marvila still has room where art can be freely exhibited and has spaces visually unpolluted. The fact that it is not overpopulated and jam-packed with tourists also gives us free room for contemplation”, he says.

To underline the broadening of Poster’s exhibitive area, which now encompasses the riverfront of Marvila, we have the work of the Atelier Mob (a multidisciplinary platform for the development of ideas, research and projects in the fields of architecture, design and urbanism), precisely focused on these matters. In tune with the intervention conducted on the field by Mob, what is written in this poster right on the edge of Avenida Infante Dom Henrique – “gentrify me up ahead” – is a leitmotif to make an overall reflection on Lisbon, but also on this area in particular, since the latter will soon have to cope with the changes of the physical, human and economic landscape.

But there’s more to be seen in this short-term, open-air gallery. There is a total of 25 works, 20 invited artists and 5 who were chosen in an open call: André Catarino, António Castanheira, Carolina Caldeira, I+0 (a collective of two students of design and biology) and Margarida Vieira.

Regarding the guests, one has to emphasize the Israeli graffiti collective Broken Fingaz Crew and the American designer Jessica Walsh, two of the international names that Bruno Pereira never expected to see among those who accepted the invitation and who promptly answered affirmatively.

As it happened in the first edition, there is a mishmash of disciplines, which does not confine itself to the much-expected collaborations of designers, illustrators or photographers. The choreographer Rui Horta, the writer Cláudia Sampaio, the musician and illustrator Cláudia Guerreiro and the musician Sérgio Godinho are some of the names who disclose at Poster hidden (more or less, depending on the case) talents.

Like Marvila, Poster also grew in size and not only up to the riverfront. More than a year ago, Bruno Pereira told to Umbigo that the “goal was to conduct an ongoing intervention in that area, building, with each edition, a bridge between the local inhabitants and the artists” – those who are on the walls and the ones who have been establishing themselves in Marvila. In 2017, the promise was strengthened with the involvement of more spaces of that area: Galeria Francisco Fino (installed, since the middle of the current year, in a former oil warehouse), Bar Capitão Leitão (also an “inhabitant” of this area), Galeria Baginski (in Marvila since 2009), Fábrica Moderna / Espaço Mais Alguns, the workshop TODOS, the atelier of the multidisciplinary artist Tomaz Hipólito, among others.

There was also a pleasant overlap with Oktober Festa, organized by Lisbon Beer District (comprised by the breweries Musa, Dois Corvos and Lince, all them located in Marvila) and that also took place on October 14, having mixed the audiences of both events.

Poster also created a route (spread using the promotional materials provided to the public) which allows to see the exhibited works, as well as to pass by some of the aforementioned spaces and then some: Café com Alma, the restaurants Entra, Aquele Lugar que Não Existe and A Concha, Cantinho do Vintage, LX Work Hub, etc. Between the relics of Marvila and the new acquisitions, these places define the neighbourhood’s geography and being acquainted with them is indeed an achievement.

All the walls which work as a gallery for Poster are the property of private owners. Such implies having to knock on the doors of Marvila every two years to know who the owners are and to try to obtain a license to exhibit. They don’t know everything yet, but already managed to map a fairly good share of the area. After all, these collaborations and the route that extends itself beyond the exhibition are (unavoidable) reflections of this work – doing it is not enough, the process is only finished when shared.

Another goal that has been achieved in 2017 is the increase of the scale of the posters. In the 1st edition, these abided by the classic 1.80×1.20m format. This year they almost reach a height of 3m and, nevertheless, they still look small in the mammoth walls of the warehouses. Bruno Pereira says that they will be even bigger in 2018, unveiling that there is also the ambition to do at least three editions of Poster per year and take it beyond Lisbon. For now, it is certain that Marvila is the only area in Lisbon where the event makes sense.

For further information and the full line-up of the artists presents at the 2nd edition of Poster, click here.

Collaborator of the Umbigo since 2000 and… The relationship has survived several absences and delays. She graduated in Fashion Design, but the images only make her sense if they are sewn with words. She does production so as not to rustle the facet of control freak, dance as a form of breathing and watch horror movies to never lose sight of their demons. Whenever you ask for a biography, say a few profanities and then remember this poem of Al Berto, without ever being sure if you really put it into practice or if it is an eternal purpose of life: "But I like the night and the laughter of ashes, I like the desert, and the chance of life, I like the mistakes, the luck and the unexpected encounters. Almost always on the sacred side of my heart, or where fear has the precariousness of another body"

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