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CAM in Motion

With the closure of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Modern Art Centre (CAM), due to the building’s ongoing renovation and extension works, an offsite programme has now been presented. CAM in Motion is based on the idea of a work of art in movement throughout the landscape, inspired by Alexander Calder’s concept of painting in movement. It includes site-specific interventions by guest artists and exhibitions with works from the CAM collection in different public spaces and facilities in the Lisbon metropolitan area.

Benjamin Weil, CAM director, says that “with CAM presently closed, we reach out to potential visitors, we want the experience of art to be part of everyone’s daily life and we wish for that to continue when the building opens to the public”.

Didier Fiúza Faustino and Fernanda Fragateiro intervene in the carriages of two trains of the urban lines of Sintra and Cascais, in a partnership between CAM and CP-Comboios de Portugal. Both works consist of vinyl placed on the outside of the train.

Based on the idea of landscape, its crossing and the concept of “connection-communication”, Fernanda Fragateiro returns to the piece (Not) Connecting #1 (2007) from the Foundation’s collection (London Delegation), to create an abstract, silent and non-objective visual project, where very close lines of colour reinforce the movement of the train carriages in the landscape, connecting two points of the territory.

Didier Fiúza Faustino draws a parallel between the skin that covers the human body, putting the latter in contact with the world, and the new skin that covers the train’s body, a surface of contact and connection with the territory it crosses, exploring the idea of tattoo in its symbolic and identity aspects, besides its intrinsic connection to urban cultures.

In addition to these two interventions, videos from the CAM Collection will be shown in several containers scattered around public spots in the city, in a partnership with the Lisbon City Hall and HCI Construções. Loneliness, war, social and political issues are explored in this cycle, where landscape and nature are always background scenarios.

The first container is already installed in the Gulbenkian Garden, with works by João Onofre, Lida Abdul, Pedro Barateiro and Fernando José Pereira.

In Untitled (N’en Finit Plus) by João Onofre, a teenage girl performs an acapella song, La nuit n’en finit plus, by Petula Clark. At night, the young girl is in a deep ditch, dug in a grassy field, intoning the notes of the song. Thanks to the movement of the camera, we notice the darkness of the earth and the confined space where Beatriz Mateus stands, underlining that moment of confinement and solitude.

In White Horse by Lida Abdul, an old Afghan man paints his black horse white so that the disease will not spread throughout the animal’s body, according to him. This video could be seen as an allegory for the Middle East war. As if the act of painting the horse white represents a renewal, an attempt to overcome the pain of war.

From the end of November, it will be possible to see works by Rui Toscano and Carlos Bunga in the square of Centro Comercial Fonte Nova and Ribeira das Naus, respectively.

The fences of CAM’s construction site in Rua Marquês de Sá da Bandeira will also be intervened by comic author, visual performer and illustrator António Jorge Gonçalves. With O vôo do pato-real it will be possible to travel, guided by the mallard, this narrative’s main character, through the past of the place where the Gulbenkian Foundation now stands, a former cultivation field, zoo, velodrome and equestrian centre and even a fair, whilst foretelling a possible future.

Casa das Histórias Paula Rego also hosts 24 works from CAM’s British Art Collection. Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, David Hockney, Maggi Hambling, Steven Campbell and Peter Howson are some of the authors chosen. The selection reflects experimental figurative approaches, also implemented by Paula Rego between the 1950s and 1960s and associated with the “London School”, or their proximity to the artist’s figurative universe.

The CAM in Motion programme is available on the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation website and will take place during the renovation works being carried out on the building of the Modern Art Centre.

Joana Duarte (Lisbon, 1988), architect and curator, lives and works in Lisbon. She concluded her master in architecture at Faculdade de Arquitectura of Universidade de Lisboa in 2011, she attended the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands and did her professional internship in Shanghai, China. She collaborated with several national and international architects and artists developing a practice between architecture and art. In 2018 she founds her own studio, concludes the postgraduate degree in curatorial studies at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and starts collaborating with Umbigo magazine.

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