Writing, Curating and Lecturing on Visual Arts, Public Space and Architecture

5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms

As a first year doctoral student of Lisbon Consortium I took part of a elective course for Curating led by professor Luisa Santos. Besides extensive reading and lots of discussion, the class finished with an exhibition project where 20 students formed teams to curate 5 artists in 5 different project spaces. I was happy to work with a couple of very nice people on Luísa Jacinto's project at the foyer of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa. The exhibition at the uni and at the Carpe Diem project space lasted from 3 to 18 March 2017.

Some links:

For the catalogue I wrote a short text on Luisa Jacinto's work No one knows:

No one knows


In 1927 a German-French Jewish surrealist poet Iwan Goll published a novel called die Eurokokke in which a hopeless mid-war era man wanders around Europe, leaving behind traces consisting of three words: we don't know. The story's narrator doesn't make it clear what it is that we don't know. Readers may find themselves in a similarly lost position while reading Herman Melville's cryptic novella Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street which has been puzzling critics for its I would prefer not to for more than 150 years. Luísa Jacinto's work No one knows bears a resemblance to these fine examples of human thought, but not so much because of its almost identical slogan, but due to its existential depth and its author's strong belief in poetry.


It is not uncommon that a single poem keeps Jacinto the painter busy for weeks in her studio. Poetry, it has been argued, is foremost rhythm and repetition. Reiteration not only in its formal aspect of rhyme and structure, but in terms of memory and intention. Proclaimed poets possess the language of their colleagues and forerunners. Jacinto is certainly an artist whose work recognizes and values the context she finds herself in.


Hence it was natural that for the exhibition in the foyer of the School of Human Sciences of the Catholic University of Portugal she would produce a new installation which derives from the memory and spirit of the place. Doubtlessly knowledge is the signpost which has lead innumerable people to universities for centuries. Later, many of these students seem to have left the institution with a strong feeling of doubt – calling to mind characters from Goll's and Melville's stories. Then again, a knowledgable doubter never reads a book as if a traffic sign. In fact, a name on a plate is never the object or subject itself, neither is a map a territory, nor a No one knows a no one knows. The artist is inviting us to join – and enjoy – the discussion.

Mikoff. Sculptures

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