Potency and Adversity: Art from Latin America in the Portuguese Collections

This is the catalogue documenting the exhibition Potency and Adversity: Art from Latin America in the Portuguese Collections. Curated by Marta Mestre, the exhibition was divided between the Pavilhão Branco (Galerias Municipais de Lisboa) and the Pavilhão Preto (Museu de Lisboa) and was on view between November 12, 2017 and January 7, 2018. Besides the photographic documentation of the works exhibited in both exhibition nuclei, this bilingual volume contains introductory texts by Catarina Vaz Pinto, Joana Gomes Cardoso and António Pinto Ribeiro, an essay by the curator Marta Mestre, a text by Cildo Meireles and a poem-manifesto by Pedro Barateiro.

“To the dialogue proposed by António Pinto Ribeiro, the general coordinator of programming for the Ibero-American Capital of culture 2017, the perspective of the curator of this exhibition was added. Marta Mestre selected more than 80 works by artists from different countries to present the multiplicity of pathways formulated and the different artistic visions of social and politic realities of the late twentieth century, marked by several repressive governments.”

– Catarina Vaz Pinto

“The exhibition Potency and Adversity – Art from Latin America in the Portuguese Collections also makes hitherto unknown private collections accessible to the general public, promoting new areas of inter-institutional cooperation and the sharing of common memory.”

– Joana Gomes Cardoso

“The selection also defines the taste of the collectors, their knowledge – or lack thereof – about artistic creation in the cities involved, the short history of the relationship between Portuguese and Latin American institutions with respect to the arts, and it can even raise the possibility of using the exhibition to propose a possible history of mentalities.”

– António Pinto Ribeiro

“In this context, the primary concern of the curatorship consisted of highlighting a historical angle which continues to be overlooked by more institutionalised narratives on Latin America in Portugal. The issues of ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘interculturality’ have been avoided, and attempts have been made to refocus the debate on the relationships between art and politics in the so-called ‘conceptualisms of the South’, and the way in which these unfold today.”

– Marta Mestre

“I want someday all works to be looked at as hallmarks, as remembrances and evocations or real and visible conquests. And whenever listening to the History of this West, people will be listening to fantastic legends and fables and allegories. For a people who can transform its History into fantastic legends and fables and allegories, that people had a real existence.”

– Cildo Meireles

“This story happened in a country that only sees itself in the dark. It is for this reason that the country isn’t indicated on geographical maps: because one can’t see maps in the dark. In this country, they live with their eyes closed in the midst of magical precipices.”

– Pedro Barateiro

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Curated by
– 07.01.2018
Potency and Adversity: Art from Latin America in Portuguese Collections
Ana Mendieta, Ângelo de Sousa, Anna Maria Maiolino, Antoni Muntadas, Antonio Dias, Artur Barrio, Cildo Meireles, Hélio Oiticica, Horacio Zabala, Lydia Okumura. Albino Braz, Ana Maria Tavares, Analia Saban, André Komatsu, Carmela Gross, Damián Ortega, Detanico & Lain, Emmanuel Nassar, Eugenio Dittborn, Gabriel Orozco, Gabriel Sierra, Ignasi Aballí, Iran do Espírito Santo, Jac Leirner, Juan Araújo, Juan Munõz, Leonor Antunes, Letícia Ramos, Lothar Baumgarten, Magdalena Jitrik, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Ocampo, Marepe, Mauro Restiffe, Nelson Félix, Nicolás Robbio, Paulo Nazareth, Raimundo Camilo, Rosângela Rennó, Tamar Guimarães, Tunga, Waltércio Caldas
Marta Mestre
Pavilhão Branco