Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Practicing, non-catholic

Photo taken from the website of the newspaper Expresso.

A cultured person for me is not someone with a deep knowledge on a number of subjects, someone who reads books, who goes to museums and to the theatre, who travels and knows the world. A cultured person for me is someone who does all this and more and tries to put his knowledge and experience into practice in order to help reconstruct the world, a better world. Being a cultured person is not something that comes naturally to us humans. It is a daily mental and practical exercise against our inner barbarity, against our ignorance.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Who are you?



I hold strong impressions from the walls of the underground in London (and other cities), a fundamental platform for one to keep up-to-date with the city’s cultural offer. Now, imagine what would happen if all those cultural organizations, competing among themselves and with other entities for people’s attention, did not consider carefully their visual identity so that they would stand out immediately and make a connection both with interested and especially distracted individuals.

Friday, 26 June 2015

The message, the language, the options


Paula Sá Nogueira on the TV programme "Inferno".
The discussion that was generated after the announcement of the allocation of subsidies from the Directorate General for the Arts (DgArtes) made me think once again about the way this sector communicates with the public, citizens and taxpayers. There is a larger issue, of course, that of the subsidy itself: the system of application, the evaluation of the proposals, the monitoring of the entities, the purpose and duration of the subsidy. But today, here, my reflection focuses on communication.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Something is happening in Evora


The banner hanging on the façade of the Forum Eugénio de Almeida (FEA) in Évora made me smile ... "What museum do you dream of?" is a kind of promise or invitation to reflect and to dialogue.

It looks like that's just what the FEA and curator Filipa Oliveira seek: "(...) the beginning of a new path and the first moment of a new relationship between the FEA, the city of Évora and Portugal; (...) a programmatic reflection around the dilemma of how to articulate the singularity and specificity of its local context with the challenges posed by international contemporary artistic creation and the currents of thought associated to it."

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Post scriptum

In the week of 11 May, my inbox was full of invitations for the celebration of the European Museum Night and International Day of Museums. On Facebook, the intensity was not lesser, with museums and their tutelages reminding us that all roads would lead to a museum. A great party atmosphere, an enormous offer all over the country, which was also translated into numbers: according to the media, there were 140 activities on the occasion of the European Museum Night (16 May) and 430 activities on International Museum Day (18 May) in 70 different Portuguese museums. The truth is that few of the activities proposed responded to ICOM’s challenge to reflect on “Museums for a sustainable society” (which left me thinking how museums actually perceive this yearly challenge and if it has any impact whatsoever on their practices – on Museum Day and in the rest of the year). Having said this, the richness and intensity of the programme, as well as the celebratory mood, could make one believe that the museum sector in Portugal shows clear signs of prosperity. Thus, news on 18 May of some museum staff going on strike, contesting the reduction in the payment of overtime, as well as the fact that they were obliged to work on a Monday (the day intended for weekly rest), were something of a marginal note  (watch the TV report)

Saturday, 16 May 2015

"Ganesh versus the Third Reich" and the question that was left for next time

Photo: Jeff Busby
It’s rare these days a play that stays with us. A play that occupies our thoughts for hours and days after leaving the theatre. A play we wish to discuss with others. A play we wish to see again, looking for more, looking for everything we know we missed the first time. “Ganesh versus the Third Reich”, by the Australian Back to Back Theatre (presented at Culturgest on 14 and 15 May), is a play that did this for me.

Monday, 11 May 2015

One good idea, two responses and some lessons



It’s 125 years since Vincent Van Gogh’s death. Starting May 3 and for 125 days, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will be answering 125 questions regarding the painter, his life and his work. The museum invites anyone interested to ask a question to send it through their website and a page especifically created to present the results of this Q&A (watch the promotional video and visit the webpage).