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  3. Portugal Announces the 12 Projects That Will be Part of Its Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018

Portugal Announces the 12 Projects That Will be Part of Its Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018

Portugal Announces the 12 Projects That Will be Part of Its Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018
Portugal Announces the 12 Projects That Will be Part of Its Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018, Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre / João Mendes Ribeiro + Menos é Mais Arquitectos © José Campos
Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre / João Mendes Ribeiro + Menos é Mais Arquitectos © José Campos

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage we present Public Without Rhetoric the proposal for the Portuguese Pavilion. Below, curators Nuno Brandão Costa and Sérgio Mah describe their contribution in their own words.

Public Without Rhetoric is the project selected to represent Portugal at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The curators Nuno Brandão Costa and Sérgio Mah propose a tour of the “Public Building” of Portuguese origin through 12 works created at a time when Western Europe is confronted with its limits and possibilities and as architecture manifests its nonconformist nature in reinforcing its role in political and social intervention.

Courtesy of Direção-Geral das Artes
Courtesy of Direção-Geral das Artes

Public Without Rhetoric

Coinciding with the economic crisis, the last ten years have seen a movement away from public construction projects, with the predominant neoliberalism of Western Europe viewing them as unnecessarily wasteful, misguided and even harmful. The construction of public infrastructure such as cultural, educational and sporting facilities is in line with the idea of civilizational evolution and progressive social equity.

Molhes do Douro, Carlos Prata. © João Ferrand
Molhes do Douro, Carlos Prata. © João Ferrand

It simultaneously rebuilds and rehabilitates the form of the city, and qualitatively and culturally renews public space. In the decade spanning the beginning of the crisis in 2007 to the present, despite the sharp decrease in this type of investment, a significant number of high-quality public works have been built, embodying the resilience of some central, regional, local and institutional niches of decision making. These include both entities that continued their commitment to projects from before the onset of the crisis and others that assumed responsibility for launching new countercyclical projects during the same period.

These centers of resistance were matched by Portuguese architects.

Thalia Theatre / Gonçalo Byrne Architects & Barbas Lopes Architects © DMF
Thalia Theatre / Gonçalo Byrne Architects & Barbas Lopes Architects © DMF

The discipline’s characteristic passion, charisma and voluntary spirit was enhanced and became associated with a very clear understanding of the social and political role of architecture, despite a highly adverse environment for its practice. This selection of 12 works constructed over the last 10 years offers a short history of the most recent ‘public buildings’ of Portuguese origin. Each of these buildings reflects the ideas behind ‘Freespace’, the central theme of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. This choice of works seeks to demonstrate the diversity of programmes and scales in which Portuguese architects work, emphasizing their generalist culture and cross-generational excellence, with the representation of architects born in every decade from the 1930s to the 1980s.

I3S - Institute of Health Innovation and Research / Serôdio, Furtado & Associados, Arquitectos Lda. © Luís Ferreira Alves
I3S - Institute of Health Innovation and Research / Serôdio, Furtado & Associados, Arquitectos Lda. © Luís Ferreira Alves

The exhibition will also include a series of films exploring the current state of the works, specifically in regards to the different methods and dynamics of appropriation employed by the people who inhabit the buildings and fulfill the public mission of these works to varying degrees. The films are produced by four contemporary Portuguese artists with consolidated and widely recognized bodies of work in the visual arts and cinema and with previous experience in the field of architectural representation.

Centro de Visitantes da Gruta das Torres, Pico, SAMI (Inês Vieira da Silva and Miguel Vieira). © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Centro de Visitantes da Gruta das Torres, Pico, SAMI (Inês Vieira da Silva and Miguel Vieira). © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

See below the complete list of works selected for the Portuguese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018.

In addition to the twelve works, the Portuguese curators invited four artists - André Cepeda, Catarina Mourão, Nuno Cera and Salomé Lamas - to develop films about the selected works.

About this author
Romullo Baratto
Author
Cite: Baratto, Romullo. "Portugal Announces the 12 Projects That Will be Part of Its Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018" 06 May 2018. ArchDaily. (Trans. Pimenta, Amanda ) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/893742/portugal-announces-the-12-projects-that-will-be-part-of-its-pavilion-at-the-venice-biennale-2018/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Arquipélago – Contemporary Arts Centre / João Mendes Ribeiro + Menos é Mais Arquitectos © José Campos

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