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5 Cultural Suggestions — James Steele

Every week, UMBIGO invites a person to share their 5 cultural suggestions. What can we do at home? From a book to a podcast, album or film: here are recommendations from artists, curators, gallery owners, cultural activists, friends.

We will share the recipe for what makes us better, and we remain united and positive.

James Steele

Book

The Complete Essays 1973-1991
Luigi Ghirri
2017

A collection of writings by the photographer Luigi Ghirri 1943 (Scandiano), an insightful look into the near autobiographical life and thought process of the artist. While exploring his own practice references various figures throughout the history of photography, art and theory. His work usually devoid of figures becomes eerily profound now. Available from STET livraria

Film

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Written and Directed by Peter Greenaway
1989

This romantic and violent film was a departure from previous films by Peter Greenaway in that the others had characters and themes linked between them and were more erudite and cerebral. The brilliant cinematography, baroque sets, lighting, costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier and thought-provoking soundtrack by Michael Nyman culminates in a visual feast.

Music

Struggle for Pleasure
Wim Mertens
1983

The song with the same name as the album exposed Wim Mertens’ music to a younger and wider audience in the early 1990’s when the song was remixed by trance music project Energy 52 and since re-remixed by various others. However, Wim Mertens unique voice and compositions continue to entrance with his last concert at the CCB in February this year.

Documentary

Artist’s gardens tour
With curator Ann Dumas
The Royal Academy
2016, released 5 May 2020

This short series of tours through artist’s gardens with curator Ann Dumas, aside from being beguiling to see the gardens of Emile Nolde, Max Liebermann, Henri Le Sidaner among better known artist’s gardens, planting, sowing seeds and gardening, no matter if you have a window shelf or access to land, is not only a visceral experience but can reduce anxiety in our present conditions and can be very therapeutic and rewarding in many other forms.

Design/Architecture

Passa ao futuro

An incredible project in Alentejo founded by Fatima Durkee and Astrid Rovisco Suzano collaborating with local craftsmen and artisans. By using traditional techniques and applying them to contemporary modes of design and architecture. Their mission. They hold various workshops through the year, this Summer is an architecture project in August from the 19 -29th August more information here

James Steele born in London and raised in Australia, is Co-Director of 3+1 Arte Contemporary in Lisbon since 2010, previously worked for Helga de Alvear, Madrid 2007 as well as several galleries in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia since 1999.

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