Dissonâncias – at Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea/Museu do Chiado

85 works by 45 artists are on display at MNAC and reveal what civil society has donated to the museum for approximately a decade.

The exhibition Dissonâncias, curated by Adelaide Ginga and Emília Tavares, contains works from the 19th and early 21st centuries, donated by artists, heirs, collectors and patrons. It is also a tribute to all those who decided to donate their pieces.

The apparent semantic rupture of the works on display states the emergence of artistic languages that did not always reach the surface. Some, for example, were hidden in the museum’s reserves for a long time. This break-up, and considering that there is no exhibition without a sequence, gives rise to a potentially new, disruptive and impactful perspective and reading of the works. The exhibition does justice to its name: dissonances.

In the major vanguards of the 20th century, such as futurism or Dadaism, predictability and expectancy were boring. This exhibition seems to show new languages or to remind us that it is impossible to travel new paths based on already known languages. Although it is a collection of works based on the eclecticism of the collection, it is also a redefinition of aesthetic principles. As the director of the Museu do Chiado states, its diversity “clearly increases the museum’s ability to create new exhibition discourses.”

The National Museum of Contemporary Art wants to show its liveliness by presenting nuclei of its collection on display, relying on a rotating basis.

The exhibition Dissonâncias is like a diamond in the rough. But a closer look problematizes and awakens reflection on the complex activity of the curator in an exhibition. Questions arise: What to show and how? What pieces should be placed next to each other? What kind of empty spots can be introduced between works? Which works could be affected by the presence of others? Does the predictability of choices feed the imagination? Or does it distance us from the work? Can we, through choices, have a different look at the works? These questions are fed by the honesty of the positioning of the works, side by side, throughout the exhibition.

The aim is not to reach a consensus on the elements of the exhibition, but to show or enhance new languages and curatorial paths. They are works that, due to their diversity, could not be integrated into a single artistic discourse. They are heterogeneous pieces from different periods. The visitor, as in an open work, must make connections between the works and the possible narratives of the exhibition venue. As one work has several readings, the curatorial experience fulfills its role when the visitor feels the oddness or surprise concerning what is exhibited.

The exhibition Dissonâncias features Ana Pérez-Quiroga, Ana Vidigal, André Cepeda, António Barros, António Olaio, Arnaldo Fonseca, Artur do Cruzeiro Seixas, Augusto Alves da Silva, Carlos Noronha Feio, Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, Cristina Ataíde, Ernesto de Sousa, Gérard Castello-Lopes, Hein Semke, Henrique Vieira Ribeiro, Hugo Canoilas, Inês Norton, João Cristino da Silva, João Francisco Camacho, João Moniz Pereira, João Pedro Vale, Jorge Barradas, Jorge Molder, Jorge Oliveira, Jorge Pinheiro, Jorge Silva Araújo, José Augusto, José Luís Neto, José Maçãs de Carvalho, José Pedro Cortes, Júlia Ventura, Manuel Botelho, Márcio Vilela, Marco Godinho, Maria Barreira, Maria Gabriel, Mário Cesariny, Miguel Soares, Mónica de Miranda, Nuno Calvet, Nuno San Payo, Paulo Catrica, Pedro Portugal, René Bértholo, Rodrigo Oliveira, Rolando Sá Nogueira, Sara e André, and Vítor Pires Vieira.

Carla Carbone was born in Lisbon, 1971. She studied Drawing in and Design of Equipment at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon. Completed his Masters in Visual Arts Teaching. She writes about Design since 1999, first in the newspaper O Independente, then in editions like Anuário de Design, arq.a magazine, DIF, Parq. She also participates in editions such as FRAME, Diário Digital, Wrongwrong, and in the collection of Portuguese designers, edited by the newspaper Público. She collaborated with illustrations for Fanzine Flanzine and Gerador magazine. (photo: Eurico Lino Vale)

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