Novas Novas Cartas Portuguesas

Catalogue of the exhibition Novas Novas Cartas Portuguesas curated by Tobi Maier, shown at Quadrum Gallery between October 13, 2022 and February 26, 2023. It contains texts by Joana Meirim, Aura, Íris Dórdio and Tobi Maier, the reproduction of an interview to Simone de Beauvoir by Maria Teresa Horta, and the reproduction of the works exhibited in the exhibition.

“Conscious of the fact that art is not only made of generous sentiments alone, the three authors created a work that does not avoid taking positions with regard to the status of Portuguese women under the Estado Novo, but at the same time they do not renounce the literary. In fact, the ideas they defend acquire communicative efficacy precisely because they do not renounce the use of literary devices. Making poetry and making politics (and if that wasn’t enought with feminist ideas) does not lessen the ideological or aesthetic impact of a work of art.”

-Joana Meirim

“As with the works that I take as reference points, the essence of my project isn’t the pornography or the erotic; rather, it is a critical reflection of the status quo by means of a representation that raises the visibility of issues that have long been taboo subjects in Portugal.”


“Yes, nuns – thinking about the fetishization of a figure intimately connected with God leads me to believe in this action as an act of breaking with the strict religious rules. Specifically, the Seven Sacraments – Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Confession, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick. Such, is seen through nunsploitation or the underground fetish communities where rubber-clad nuns are sought-after as sexual deviants and sexual perversion dispositions. However, the over-sexualization and eroticization of celibacy in pornographic films has become a substantial act for breaking the biblical canons.”

-Íris Dórdio

“The exhibition thus places the literary experiment of the Novas Cartas Portuguesas in analogy with art works that revisit topics raised from the perspective of contemporary artists spanning several waves of feminist movements. The reading of Novas Cartas Portuguesas triggered many visual analogies. How would this book be written today? Could an update be narrated via images? Speaking with artists, I was encouraged to work on the subjects addressed in the book, which according to them continues to be shocking into the present.”

-Tobi Maier

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Curated by
– 26.02.2023
Novas Novas Cartas Portuguesas
Audun Alvestad, Aura, Fabiana Faleiros, Sara Graça, Rita Moreira, Delphine Seyrig, Caio Amado Soares, Francisca Sousa, Aleta Valente
Tobi Maier
Quadrum Gallery