MNAC’s diary on lockdown
The lockdown has been lifted but caution advises to remain at home. There’s progressively more movement outside and the cultural system is carefully opening its doors while struggling to absorb new forms of functioning with its cultural equipment.
In this sense, even though the sense of normalcy is being regained, the online presence will remain, given the harsh demobilization and the unshakable residues of fear. This comes to mind when writing about the several publications made by the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, on the social networks, which constitute now an interesting gaze over its collection and the museum’s backstage.
Referring to an expression used by the Portuguese artiste Sarah Affonso, “The diary of small things” was an introspective strategy of thinking the museum, reviewing the collection it holds and showing the staff that works on it, somewhere between the vigilant silence of visitors and the careful watch of curators. Facebook has become, thus, an intimate, but public, archive capable of informing and remembering everyone about, for example, the worthiest works held by MNAC (always duly framed in the epoch’s context but also in the museum mission) and the history of a collection divided between modernity and contemporaneity.
We remember, therefore, the posts about O Grupo do Leão by Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, written by Maria de Aires Silveira; the text by Emília Tavares about the MNAC’s Photography Exhibitions and the portraits by San Payo; the exhibition Cravos e Veludo. Arte e Revolução by Adelaide Ginga; or António Sena’s works by Emília Ferreira.
What MNAC proposes, then, is a critical review of the museum’s history, its collection the Portuguese Heritage, according to a chronological scroll on past Facebook publications and articulated in five main themes: The History of a Collection, Stories of the History of a Collection, Glossary, Other ways of seeing and Inspiration MNAC.
This is also a good occasion to remember the museum’s reopening on the 18th May, in happy coincidence with the International Museum Day and to remind everyone the tireless effort of MNAC and public institutions to engage with citizens and the collections and works that are part of this country’s history.