Contra-parede: construction and protest

By default, the wall is the exhibition structure of art. But it is also the place where political struggle, resistance and transgression take place, vertical plane chosen by the one and the many as the canvas to express their discontent and desires. It’s for posters, tagging and graffiti; it’s the word painted over the whiteness of the lime, the drawing glued and then faded by the sun; it’s the potential manifestation of democracy, revolt, and celebration.

Curated by Hugo Dinis and with the participation of Ana Vidigal, Nuno Nunes-Ferreira and Pedro Gomes, Contra-parede is an exhibition that seeks to consider the wall and its relationship with artists, local communities and the institutional contexts that build it.

Somewhere between the good-natured interplay of the public and private, and an engagement with the local culture and the fruits of its labours, Ana Vidigal stages an intervention with students from the nearby high school by making use of overlapping posters. Nuno Nunes-Ferreira falls back on his extensive archive and that of the Associação de Conservas de Peixe to reflect on the substantial legacy of past misgovernments, the Estado Novo and the scrapping of fishing boats – so important to the economy and culture of the Tavira region. Finally, Pedro Gomes embarks on a reconfiguration of the space according to the reproduction of modular designs in a reference to museology and institutional critique.

Without forgetting the wall’s potential for alignment and order – orderly, sequential, neutralising in some cases and hierarchical -, Contra-parede should nonetheless be understood as an exercise in contemplating the wall as a platform and place of power, construction, protest and freedom.

After being shown at Museu Municipal de Tavira / Palácio da Galeria, Contra-parede is now at Museu do Côa until November 21.

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