Expanding Concert (Lisboa 2019-2023)


Publication for Expanding Concert, a five-year concert distributed in time and space through different mediums that took place in the five spaces that comprise Galerias Municipais. Improvisation in an expanded form, and the active role of the public and guests, shaped a process that reflected upon itself and it’s social, political, economical and artistic context, both in Portugal and internationally. Following a call and response logic, Mattin invited performers and participants such as Margarida Garcia in 2020, DJ Marfox in 2021, Vuduvum Vadavã in 2022, and João Artur in 2023. The five response essays derived from these five encounters are now gathered here, in the book for this publication, as contextual proposals for the public interventions.
This album includes texts by Mattin, Nuno da Luz, Dasha Birukova, Pierre Bal-Blanc, Regina de Morais, Bárbara Silva, and a brief foreword by the directors of the Municipal Galleries.
The double record contains audio resulting from the interaction between performers and the public in the five concert/performances that took place between 2019 ad 2023.

“Listening is a relational ability, a proposition both philosophical and political, a creative practice and a research methodology. Following this, it is not an exaggeration to sau that spending time listening is a stance and a radical political statement. In addition to the voice, we must stimulate the place of listening and the time for it, or rather: time to listen to others (not in passing, but with expanded time).”
– The Directors of the Municipal Galleries / EGEAC

“As we have seen, expansion is a contradictory term: on the one hand it can be understood as a necessary approach towards experimentation and investigation, and on the other hand it is an intrinsic characteristic of colonisation and capitalist exploitation. Expanding Concert (Lisbon 2019–2023) has explored this tension both in formal and discursive ways.”
– Mattin

“Silence. A moment when Mattin took the opportunity to make a provocative request: ‘I have a suggestion: if you think that things will get better in four years’ time, please stay here. If you think they’ll get worse, come with me. I think it will get worse.’
Some people moved away from the wall and started following the artist, who was heading toward a smaller gallery space. The pessimists’ group was formed—a group which I was part of and which was curiously smaller than the optimists’. The conversation took on a political tone. The collapse of Europe was foretold; the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity were assertively claimed to be bound to expire—and Europe would not survive without them. We discussed the instability of our world and its lack of foundations. We criticised Portugal, a country which is not producing any knowledge or culture, and that only cares about producing tourist-ready goods— ‘pastéis de nata’ [custard pies] as somebody suggests. We agreed that we are at a turning point, that the current model is unsustainable, and that something is bound to happen. We were five pessimists speculating about the world’s collapse. ‘Será que somos la última generación de artistas no artificiales? Somos los últimos romanticos?’ [Are we the last generation of non-artificial artists? Are we the last romantics?] Mattin asked.”
– Bárbara Silva

“One of the fictions created by and for the One Dimensional Man is the conceptualization of history moving in an Aristotelian three-act structure, following a narrative (i.e. fiction) that culminates in an answer to a dramatic question, the end of conflict, and re-establishes the lost order. ‘Going back to normal’ has been, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, one of the sentences that best describes a collective preference for a past already romanticized.
However, it’s not hard to realize that the idea of ‘past stability’ is another fabrication. We just need to think of how colonialism and slavery are the roots of most occidental societies (and of the instability and perpetual violence against people(s) once enslaved) to notice that, unless we are able to radically change our Western hegemonical structures, the way we have been making and telling History is solely based on an occidental and white lexis and praxis, rendering us unable to think of a future outside of this bigoted genealogy. And even so, we have to be extremely careful and realize that probably any demand for the occidental society to see History with its own eyes and the eyes of others can also be the starting point for more forms of racism. It can turn out to be the affirmation of a superiority of the West, that dominated for centuries through its technical and scientific (belic) advancements, and yet, and this is the subjacent premise, is still capable of occupying the place of the other for the other. This is one of the many questions the academia, intellectuals, thinkers, and so on, will have to deal with if there’s any chance of liberating History in the future.”
– Regina de Morais

“Mattin takes part in open source and, as such, everything related to his work, including this text, is open source. Mattin is the haunting of capital and its trinity formula applied to silence, noise and sound: firstly, money (or music) considered as a extractable chain becomes, secondly, capital (or noise) as a divested object, to exist thirdly only under the fetishistic aspect of stock and scarcity (or sound and silence). With Mattin, sound and silence escape in a deluge, an inundation.
– Pierre Bal-Blanc

“Lovecraftian1 weird would be about the gap between objects and the power of language to describe them. Indescribability as a reason why life is weird. Or weird as a rupture of coherency and a space of in-between states. A kind of weird that examines a destabilization or fascination for the outside. Even Harman wrote that philosophy must be weird because reality is weird. I find it symptomatic that Mattin’s artistic material is primarily noise because it is like ‘weirdness’ ‘disturbing the order of things, making us aware that those things that we took as stable, those things that we took for granted, contain elements which, in fact, we cannot decipher’.”
– Dasha Birukova

“Four years after the first expanding concert, and with two of them under the global sign of the COVID-19 pandemic and respective waves of lockdown, the audience’s interventions during the fifth concert make the dissatisfaction, the tension, and the violence that comes with the current state of affairs, palpable. An explosive mixture with retroactive effects that gathers: deregulation of public policies and housing financialisation, real estate speculation, digital nomadism (euphemism for the opportunism granted by distant work and tax incentives for the relocation of liberal professionals), lack of public investment in health, education, and wage policies, rampant inflation, normalising hate speeches and atonement that affect the most fragile sections of the population – namely racialized subjects and emigrants. ‘All that pertains to the state melts into air.’The feeling of deep inequality thickens like a lump in the collective throat. A deaf cry that only occasionally erupts, especially when airtime and an open mic are offered”
– Nuno da Luz

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