AUTHORS: IVO MARTINS, ANTÓNIO GONÇALVES (ESAP - GUIMARÃES), LABORATÓRIO DAS ARTES ARTISITIC COLLECTIVE
IMAGE: DALILA GONÇALVES - CONSERVE / REGENERATE, 2011
EDITION: Centro Cultural Vila Flor DATE: January 2011
In 2009, the Vila Flor Cultural Centre and the Oporto Higher Artistic School -- Guimarães started out on a
partnership programme which resulted in a group exhibition by young Portuguese artists, the aim of which is to
be held every two years. The first of these exhibitions was influenced by contextual factors intrinsic to the artistic
panorama in the city of Guimarães and was sensitive to the emergence of a series of artists from the city
connected to it, which ended up conditioning the choice of the final participants in the group showing. The
success of this first event made us feel the importance of carrying on with the project, developing the existing
relationship, and led us to extend the curatorship to the Laboratory of the Arts - a young, dynamic structure
which already has relevant history and activity locally in this field.
Several preparatory meetings were carried out with a view to finding consensual methods of approach, formats
and artist criteria in order to serve the purposes and the ideas with which we started the project. During these
meetings we took the decision to abandon the concepts and topics that were the Framework for the first
exhibition, now fully accepting an idea of a group exhibition and rejecting compromises, something which is
reflected in the choice of the title of the event. In this manner we believe we are able to free the artists from
creative constraints, granting them a space for expression and for the breathing of their work, which at the same
time will be favourable to the project itself in allowing it to be permanently recreated. Thus the new title for the
exhibition is the generic and pragmatic: Guimarães Contemporary Art - 2011.
After analysing the proposals from each of the institutions there was the selecting of the artists, based on a
previous presentation of their works. Out of the names proposed for consideration a consensual and broad list
was chosen, the responsibility of which is up to all the curators. Throughout the process we were careful to
present artistic proposals that were different to each other on the level of the techniques and the materials used,
in an attempt to include a wide spectrum of approaches to the practice of contemporary art (installation,
painting, drawing, sculpture, …). In this manner we intend to avoid the danger of undesirable competition
among the works, thus setting the artists on a platform of absolute equality of circumstances.
One of the most important aspects in this exhibition is the fact that it allows young artists the possibility to
organize a documentation and catalogue archive of a significant part of their work, providing them with a
curricular and biographical instrument that will be of increased value to them and may make it easier for
information to circulate. Besides this, our aim is to divulge the work of these artists, who, despite the relevant
position they occupy in contemporary Portuguese art, are still not sufficiently well known.
It remains for us to state that this event wishes to deepen the mechanisms of approximation and reciprocal
contact among the several different agents of the city of Guimarães, thus contributing to the creation of a
dynamic of relationships, experiences and confrontation of views, forcing us into mediations and the dialectics of
creative commitments. We believe that it is through this process and this flow of collaborations that one can
attract publics from different backgrounds and generate new readings of today’s reality.
TRANSLATION: MARTIN DALE