Os Espacialistas giving and receiving training

The space of knowledge, class, experimentation, process has reinvented itself throughout (and in recent) times. It has also been the victim of excessive acceleration and a mandatory stop. Pause. One needs to return to the base, to the essence, to the elementary, to learn everything again: A E I O U!

The collective Os Espacialistas play with the word, with space, with the word in (its) space. And the body. They rethink basic combinations of architecture and strike them with precision through artistic references. In the exhibition, we feel ourselves going through an endless list of names and figures that have always been in our manuals, but this time “winking” to more or less disconcerting associations.

The photographic sketches, the videos, the performative and installation character – it could be a compendium of a Espacialista path presented at the Gallery of the College of Arts, University of Coimbra, but it is not limited to visiting their works. Between research and action, the Curatorial Laboratory of the Master’s in Curatorial Studies promotes the dynamics among students, teachers and invited artists where each one’s place is questioned. From this combination emerges the exhibition A E I O U: Os Espacialistas em Pro(ex)cesso.

In five rooms, the same number as the vowels, there is an experimental place about the many experiments they had done. As if, after Os Espacialistas arrived, they studied and intervened in the spaces – for example, the house of Monsaraz by the architects Aires Mateus, the MAAT exhibition space, the relationship they established with the works of the Berardo Collection in the Constelações project, or the lab experiments they did in non-places, as from the metric studies of Corbusier or Da Vinci – it was the turn of their studies to turn into the raw material itself. The time has come to Espacializar from the results of Os Espacialistas.

Between the students and the collective, this exhibition translates what remains between past and future, without deciphering the present. The results they have found along the way are now placed on a game table to roll the dice again, the same pieces, but in new combinations. Conclusions that become introductions, words that are separated in syllables to generate new words.

The place where this experience can be lived is also the object of study, in a performance where they used the light of the cloister of the College of Arts as matter. The exhibition has become a classroom. The laboratory became a work of art. Os Espacialistas giving and receiving training. It doesn’t matter who is dealing the cards or spelling out the letters, if the purpose is the collective reflection about a better space for our body.

Fabrícia Valente holds a degree in Architecture from the University of Évora (pre-Bologna) and has training in complementary areas such as video, photography and the production of temporary exhibitions. She is an active curator (eg KAIROS Pavilion), Critic (she is the editor of the online section of Architecture of the Umbigo Magazine and is part of the J–A editorial team) and works in Cultural Mediation (Museu Colecção Berardo and MAAT) on more than 90 exhibitions. She collaborates with several entities in the search for multidisciplinarity between Architecture, Plastic Arts and Music, areas where she develops research works.

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