Thursday, 15 February 2018

Let's set Mark Deputter free

Image taken from the newspaper Público. Photo: Nuno Ferreira Santos

It was a good exercise for all of us the with conversation with the Municipal Councilor for Culture Catarina Vaz Pinto (CVP) yesterday at the Maria Matos Theatre (MMT). As it has been a good exercise all the discussion generated after the announcement of her decision to lease MMT and turn it into a for-profit space with programming for a larger public.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Still on Maria Matos: a theatre's ethos

"Have a Great day!", by Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (Photo: Simonas Svitra). Maria Matos Theatre, 2017

Ethos: (Greek éthos, -ous) noun
distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group or institution
Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary



Anne Pasternak became the director of the Brooklyn Museum in New York in 2015, succeeding Arnold L. Lehman, who had held the post for 18 years. Anne impressed me positively in her first interview for the New York Times when she stated: "I am excited to build on that ethos of welcome".

At the time of Pasternak's appointment, there were several voices criticising the choice of someone who had never worked in a museum before. However, this sentence, right at the end of the article in the New York Times, was enough for me to think: She got it! She understood "who" the museum she's going to work for is!

Sunday, 28 January 2018

TS Elliot, a terrible hip-hop artist

A photo of the project Contratempos in the This is PARTIS programme.

The Guardian recently wrote about a critique by poet Rebecca Watts, entitled “The cult of the noble amateur”, where she attacks the work of a cohort of young female poets considering it “the open denigration of intellectual engagement and rejection of craft”. The text resulted in a very interesting, and welcome, debate regarding the value of “high” and “popular” poetry. The answer of Scottish poet Don Patterson (winner of the TS Elliot award and publisher of two of the young poets in question) was captivating: " You don’t have to like what people do, but I think you measure it against its own ambitions. Otherwise it’s like saying TS Eliot was a terrible hip-hop artist. True, but so what.”

Saturday, 13 January 2018

What Maria Matos means to me (or, why did I sign the petition)


On December 17, 2017, the newspaper Público published an interview with the Councilor of Culture of Lisbon, Catarina Vaz Pinto, where it was announced that "[the theatre] Maria Matos (MM) will have a very different programming model, with longer running periods and a greater concern in attracting audiences, in order to be profitable". The news was surprising to me, to say the least. I would say more, I remember that, as I read, I felt a kind of physical pain.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Operatic struggles


Walking around in Vienna, three or four years ago, I came across the poster of Oper Frankfurt’s “Hansel and Gretel”. Much time has passed, but I can still recall the smile and the warm feeling this poster provoked. Simple, direct, funny, informative. It was that one moment and it was about opera.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

I am a native foreigner


This was my speech yesterday at the ICOM Europe Annual Conference, which took place in Bologna, Italy. The theme was "The role of local and regional museums in the building of a people's Europe". Read more

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The person we need to listen to

Grada Kilomba, The Kosmos 2 (Detail) © Esra Rotthoff, courtesy of Maxim Gorki Theatre. (image taken from the website Contemporary And)

A few weeks ago, there was an artice in the newspaper Público entitled Grada Kilomba is the artist Portugal needs to listen to.
 Until then, I had never heard of Grada Kilomba. Last week we had the opening of two exhibitions, apparently the first two in her homeland, although Grada Kilomba has already got an intense career abroad. A fact which is "perversely coherent", according to the Público, "as getting into the work of Grada Kilomba - in her video and sound installations, in her performances, in her rehearsed readings, in her texts - is having to deal with the violent history of colonialism and post-colonialism, a history in which Portugal is deeply ingrained, but is stubbornly pretending that it has nothing to do with it."