Border crossing.If the films of Portugal's most famous cineast, Manoel de Oliveira, are any indication, the Portuguese national character is distinguished by a melancholic mel·an·chol·ic
1. Affected with or being subject to melancholy.
2. Of or relating to melancholia. romanticism and a propensity for sorrowful sor·row·ful
Affected with, marked by, causing, or expressing sorrow. See Synonyms at sad.
sorrow·ful·ly adv. passions, mourning, and contemplation. In movies like Amor de perdicao (Doomed love, 1978), O Convento (The convent, 1995), or more recently Party, 1996, de Oliveira has mined this territory to compelling, sometimes humorous effect. More recent cinematic efforts, such as Joaquim Sapinho's first feature-length film Corte de cabelo (Haircut, 1995), which recounts the misadventures of a young couple on their wedding day, have focused instead on everday urban life in ways that reflect the cultural miscegenation Mixture of races. A term formerly applied to marriage between persons of different races. Statutes prohibiting marriage between persons of different races have been held to be invalid as contrary to the equal protection clause that gives semi-peripheral countries like Portugal their distinctive flavor. Thus, while some maintain that Portugal has an essential national identity marked by fatefulness and saudade Saudade (singular) or Saudades (plural) (pron. IPA [sɐu'dad(ɨ)] in European Portuguese, [saw'ðaðe (a peculiar combination of nostalgia and longing), others share sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos' view that "Portuguese culture has no content, only form, and that form is the frontier." That is, to borrow a phrase from Portugal's modernist poet Fernando Pessoa This article or section is written like a personal reflection or and may require .
Please [ improve this article] by rewriting this article or section in an . , "The Portuguese people The Portuguese people (Portuguese: os portugueses; literally the Portuguese) are the ethnic group or nation native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. are essentially cosmopolitan. No true Portuguese was ever Portuguese. He was always everything."
Mapping the territory between these two poles, contemporary artistic practices in Portugal reflect not a fixed national identity but the diversity and contradictions of a society marked by a long historical experience of the border: through crossings, journeys, and migrations national traditions have mixed with broader cultural influences. Indeed, in the absence of a national cultural agenda like that of France or Germany, the activation of Portugal's artistic scene over the last decade is the result, above all, of the initiatives of artists, critics, and gallerists who, while making inroads inroads
make inroads into to start affecting or reducing: my gambling has made great inroads into my savings
inroads npl to make inroads into [+ abroad, widened the audience for contemporary art at home.
Galeria Luis Serpa, a highly influential gallery in the '80s, has continued to show some of the most outstanding artists of the last ten years, including Pedro Calapez Pedro Calapez, born in Lisbon, 1953, is a Portuguese painter.
He began taking part in exhibitions in the seventies and in 1982 had his first solo exhibition. He has exhibited his work individually in various galleries and museums, most notably Histórias de objectos , Daniel Blaufuks Daniel Blaufuks is a Portuguese photographer,born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1963, the grandson of Polish amd German Jews who had moved to Portugal in the late 1920s and 1930s. He moved to Germany in 1976 and returned to Portugal in 1983. , Jorge Molder, and Rui Sanches, though it no longer represents them. Molder, perhaps the most well-known of these artists, has made photographs that privilege literary references throughout his two-decade-long career. Most recently his work has revolved around the self-portrait, which is not, in his case, a form of narcissism narcissism (närsĭs`ĭzəm), Freudian term, drawn from the Greek myth of Narcissus, indicating an exclusive self-absorption. In psychoanalysis, narcissism is considered a normal stage in the development of children. , but a way of staging fictions. Though, taken together, his photographs suggest narratives, no interpretive key or dramatic sequence is ever given; rather, mysterious clues, enigmatic objects, and incomplete journeys force the spectator to become both detective and inventor of fictions.
Like Luis Serpa, the galleries Modulo A mathematical operation (modulus arithmetic) in which the result is the remainder of a division. Also known as the "remainder operator," it is used to solve a variety of problems. For example, the following code in the C language determines if a number is odd or even. and Pedro Oliveira maintain an international profile. Modulo represents artists such as Pedro Casqueiro, whose paintings explore the language of abstraction; Miguel Angelo Rocha, whose sculptures experiment with various materials to suggest the corporeal Possessing a physical nature; having an objective, tangible existence; being capable of perception by touch and sight.
Under Common Law, corporeal hereditaments are physical objects encompassed in land, including the land itself and any tangible object on it, that can be ; and Angela Ferreira, whose reflections on architecture question models of conceiving and occupying territories. Located in Porto, Pedro Oliveira shows both emerging and established artists, such as Gerardo Burmester, Alberto Carneiro, Pedro Proenca, and Juliao Sarmento. Of those galleries that made their presence felt in the late '80s and '90s by paying particular attention to the latest generation of artists, the most notable are Galeria Alda Cortez and Galeria Graca Fonseca. The former shows the work of sculptors such as Jose Pedro Croft and Rui Chafes, as well as the ironic critique of art-world fashions that comprises Ana Jotta's work; while the latter represents Paulo Feliciano, Paulo Mendes, and Joao Louro, whose explorations of the connections between high and low - integrate pop music, comic strips, and graphic design - and frequently offer a political critique. Also a significant presence are the artist-run galleries Monumental and Galeria Ze dos Bois.
Curiously, no traces of the African culture that began to infiltrate the closed Portuguese society of the early '70s, during which the country fought the end of a losing battle in its colonies, can be found in the visual arts, though such signs abound in nightlife and popular music - witness the growing success of a wave of Portuguese rap produced by young people born in Portugal but of Cape Verdian, Angolan, or Mozambican descent. This absence is indicative not only of a general social marginalization mar·gin·al·ize
tr.v. mar·gin·al·ized, mar·gin·al·iz·ing, mar·gin·al·iz·es
To relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing. of African communities but also of Portugal's inability to achieve a political and cultural balance with its colonial past and the traumas of its "dirty war." It is a symptomatic deficiency. A number of equally unpleasant issues - racism, AIDS, and sexual discrimination - are rarely addressed either in the media or by politicians. During the final years of the recently ousted right-of-center government, this lack of dialogue was exacerbated by the absence of a coherent cultural politics - which in the realm of the plastic arts, for example, translated into the absence of a public museum dedicated to contemporary art. The new government - whose minister of culture is the prestigious philosopher Manuel Maria Carrilho Manuel Maria Carrilho (pron. IPA: [mɐnu'ɛɫ mɐ'ɾiɐ kɐ'ʁiʎu]) is a Portuguese politician. He was the Minister of Culture in the 13th and 14th Constitutional Governments of Portugal. - has taken steps to remedy the situation, granting more exhibition space to contemporary art and promoting the work of Portuguese artists abroad.
Indeed, despite a history of limitations, there have been a few signs of progress on Portugal's cultural front since the '80s. The Gulbenkian Foundation, which for decades was the pillar of national cultural life, opened its Centro de Arte Moderna in 1983 with a permanent collection of Portuguese art from the beginning of the century to the present. The Fundacao de Serralves in Porto, now headed by Vicente Todoli, former curator of IVAM IVAM Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (Spain) in Valencia, began to mount regular shows of contemporary art, recently hosting the retrospective of Cildo Meireles that opened at Boston's ICA Ica (ē`kä), city (1993 pop. 108,724), capital of Ica dept., SW Peru, on the Pan-American Highway. It is a commercial center for the cotton, wool, and wine produced in the region. There are several summer resorts nearby. last month, as well as a show of Dennis Oppenheim's work. In 1993, two new exhibition spaces, receptive to contemporary art - Centro Cultural de Belem and Culturgest - opened at the outskirts of Lisbon. Culturgest's rather eclectic program has included exhibitions devoted to the work of Robert Mangold, CoBrA, Tom Wesselman, and Nam June Paik Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 - January 29, 2006) was a South Korean-born American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the first video artist. He is considered by some , while the Centro Cultural de Belem is scheduled to present, over the coming year, the work of Paula Rego, Donald Judd, and an overview of European and American Pop art. The first Portuguese collection of international contemporary art, the Berardo collection, will be permanently housed in an exhibition space in Sintra, scheduled to open in the spring. In Porto, at Serralves, Alvaro Siza designed the country's first national museum dedicated solely to contemporary art, which will open its doors in 1998. Siza, the primary reference point for an influential school of Portuguese architects, is regarded as having reinvigorated Modernist architecture by paying particular attention to local contexts, and in that sense, emerges as a curious example of the negotiation between global and local cultural values that typifies modes of expression in semi-peripheral countries.
Such a negotiation is evident in the twenty-year-long career of Juliao Sarmento, who has been selected to represent Portugal in the 1997 Venice Biennale. Heavily influenced at the beginning of his career by post-Conceptual practices, Sarmento then turned to painting, although never in a formalist way. Elliptically el·lip·tic or el·lip·ti·cal
1. Of, relating to, or having the shape of an ellipse.
2. Containing or characterized by ellipsis.
a. broaching broaching: see quarrying. questions of desire and sexuality, his work sets up a game between artist and spectator. The partial figures that populate his canvases read as elements of the artist's memory or sexual imagination, fragments that the viewer must link together in a narrative of his own construction. Also centered on the body is the work of Rui Chafes, which stands out from that of the youngest group of Portuguese artists. Based on elaborate readings of German Romanticism, his sculptures suggest objects for the torture and seclusion seclusion Forensic psychiatry A strategy for managing disturbed and violent Pts in psychiatric units, which consists of supervised confinement of a Pt to a room–ie, involuntary isolation, to protect others from harm of an always absent body, as if the body were an Ideal object impossible to represent.
Pedro Cabrita Reis is the most well-known of those artists who came to the fore in the '80s and who attained international recognition late in that decade. Many of his works evoke simple forms, often those of southern European architecture, that signal the occupation of a territory, sites of communication, or habitation HABITATION, civil law. It was the right of a person to live in the house of another without prejudice to the property.
2. It differed from a usufruct in this, that the usufructuary might have applied the house to any purpose, as, a store or manufactory; whereas . Yet these references are in no way parochial; rather, Cabrita Reis reclaims for artistic practice a language divorced from that of mass media, which fascinates so many contemporary artists.
In a society like that of Portugal, on which Catholicism has had a strong and lasting influence, discussions of the body and sexuality were taboo until quite recently. For that reason, the work of a new generation of choreographers and dancers, among them Vera Mantero and Francisco Camacho, acquires particular significance, even on a sociological level. Both these artists work in an intermediary zone between dance, theater, and performance. Mantero explores what everyday gestures and neurotic behavior have in common, contorting her body as if to evoke a seemingly inconquerable individual and collective disease. Camacho draws on well-known historical or literary figures to create fragmented narratives that perversely enact the collective imaginary. In his most recent piece, Dom Sao Sebastiao, 1996, Saint Sebastian confronts Dom Sebastiao, a Portuguese king obsessed ob·sess
v. ob·sessed, ob·sess·ing, ob·sess·es
To preoccupy the mind of excessively.
v.intr. with colonial expansion in Africa, who was defeated and killed in the battle of Alcazarquivir in 1578. After his death, Portugal suffered a similar fate: the country lost its independence and was dominated by Spain until 1640. Camacho reveals the underlying sociopolitical so·ci·o·po·li·ti·cal
Involving both social and political factors.
of or involving political and social factors significance of the myth that grew around Dom Sebastiao - which has it that the young king did not really die in battle and would return one day to save his homeland - a myth infused with "saudade" and dreams of miraculous salvation.
Filmmaker Joao Cesar Monteiro examines similar themes in his movies, such as Recordacoes da casa amarela (Recollections of a yellow house, 1989) and A comedia de Deus (God's comedy, 1995). In the latter, the main character is tormented by sordid intrigues and misadventures that collectively form a sad commentary on contemporary mores. Our antihero attempts to transcend his madness and his miseries by searching for salvation in erotic and metaphysical deliriums. Salvation is finally attained through his fetishization of the female body and his discovery of a perfect new ice cream flavor called "paradise." Is this twisted vision of utopia a metaphor for a country that has often been called, no irony intended, "a garden by the sea"?
Alexandre Melo is an art critic and professor of the sociology of culture Sociology of culture, or cultural sociology, is one of the most popular fields of sociology, particularly in the United States. Cultural sociology is a methodology that incorporates cultural analysis into interpretations of social life. at the University of Lisbon The University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa, pron. IPA: [univɨɾsi'dad(ɨ) dɨ liʒ'boɐ]; latin Universitas Olisiponensis) is a public university in Lisbon, Portugal. . His latest book, Velocidades contemporaneas (Contemporary velocities), was published by Assirio & Alvim (Lisbon, 1995).