Anuário 19

Anuário is more than just an exhibition. It is a tangible, sensorial and experiential group, the consequence of several artistic and creative, objective and curatorial actions that have conquered the city of Oporto, summarizing its cultural activity during last year. It is an important representation of the art of Oporto, the result of the activities of its artists, who questioned their audiences and engaged with the city, transforming several of its cultural venues.

The project is now in its second moment, focused on the year 2019, having been inaugurated on March 5 and, after temporarily closed, will reopen on June 2 until July 19. It was conceived and commissioned by Guilherme Blanc and João Ribas, whose reputation, individual and collective, guarantees quality and value. They chose five relevant names in the national artistic context, Catarina Miranda, Eduarda Neves, Filipe Marques, Samuel Silva and Simão Bolívar.

As expected, the exhibition conceived by these five names presents various points of view and tastes. The academic and professional paths of each are also distinctive and reflected in a hybrid and unique set of objects.

This plurality does not come only from the curators, but also from the authors of the works themselves. Among them are recurrent names, such as Patrícia Geraldes and Francisco Tropa, along with others representing the most recent artistic expressions, such as Carlos Mensil or Vera Mota. It is also important to highlight Celeste Cerqueira and Pedro Tudela, who contribute to turning this meeting into something dynamic and solid, which emphasizes the importance of their discovery.

The dynamic exhibition, spatial, objective and experiential, is underlined by the works that act as portraits of Porto’s artistic production. It is possible to observe more academic techniques and expressions, such as drawing, in addition to the presence of raw materials, such as wood, in dialogue with visual projections and unusual installations. Some may be considered examples of underground cultural movements. Throughout the exhibition, the journey (after all, visiting is not enough to contemplate what is exhibited) contains various forms and images, based on multiple perspectives, optics, universes and meanings.

It is also important to say that the works are not merely exhibited. Each evokes the exhibitions they have been part of in the past, where they were shaped by other curators who also deserve to be remembered. It is possible to turn to Malraux and apply its concept of an imaginary museum, where the objects are not only masterpieces that exist in themselves. In Anuário, they are representations of other exhibitions and contexts, museums, galleries and audiences, installing simultaneously several spatial-temporal dynamics.

The exhibition takes place at the Palácio das Artes, in Largo de São Domingos, a historical building whose imposing architecture contrasts with the contemporaneity of the event, an additional curatorial challenge. The works and the exhibition models adopted have to impose themselves on the nature of the surrounding space.

Finally, the Curators Collective is summoned to assess the result of the exhibition and understand if the exhibition heterogeneity reveals the creative, social and ideological diversity of the artists and the city. And, at the same time, it will be possible to guarantee the union, orientation and common effort in favour of a culture that represents each one of us. The strength of the community for a single cause has been decisive. And art is one of its main manifestations.

Curators Collective – From our standpoint, the exhibited works are produced in the city, but do not belong to it. This exhibition, like any other, although it works as a common good, cannot replace the singularity of each artist. It is not about any unity or identity in difference. It is about identity as difference, and the statement that there is only pure difference. The investment on heterogeneity, present in ANUÁRIO 19, intends, as we stated in the accompanying text, to express a psychogeography map and polyphony that ultimately shapes contemporary art. If the city is, better. It proves that it accompanies the state of the world.

Constança Babo (Porto, 1992) has a PhD in Media Art and Communication from Universidade Lusófona. Her research focuses on new media arts and curatorship. She has a master's degree in Art Studies - Art Theory and Criticism from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto and a degree in Visual Arts - Photography from the Porto School of Art. She has published scientific articles and critical texts. She was a research fellow in the international project Beyond Matter, at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, and was a researcher at Tallinn University, in the MODINA project.

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