More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and by 2050 that number will have grown to 6.5 billion people, two-thirds of humanity. With the onset of globalization, rural areas have become peripheral to cities and we now see that, with a rapidly ageing population, the passing down of ancestral knowledge is threatened.
The dominant imaginary that arises from air pollution, climate change or the COVID-19 pandemic, imagines and conceives a world in which nature must be protected from human action. However, the human condition cannot be separated from nature because it is an intrinsic part of the same socio--ecological metabolism. We need imaginaries that instigate all generations to think about a more liveable planet, right now.
Art(e)facts Biennial was born from the idea of an alliance creation between artists, architects and designers, Portuguese and international, with artisans from the Beira Interior. The project aims to care for the intangible memory of the territory. To do so, it proposes to rethink dialogues for the construction of a contemporary heritage of artistic works focusing on the enhancement of the region and the reinterpretation of traditional knowledge.
The project is developed within Guarda’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2027 and takes the shape of a Biennial of Knowledge, deeply embedded in the territory and intending to implement a constellation of practices with long-term impacts.
Art(e)facts’ first edition introduces the theme Supernatural Togetherness to propose alliances between humans, generations, species and knowledge in order to save the future. Ongoing until September, the programme has involved an international call for projects that resulted, during May, in artistic residencies in local artisans’ workshops.
This collective exhibition is simultaneously located in six distinct locations in the region — Alcongosta, Janeiro de Cima, Telhado, Famalicão da Serra, Gonçalo and Fundão —, as the mirror of several dialogues and of the scenarios that hosted them. The invitation to this visit suggests, therefore, paying attention to the places that hold memory and the experience of immersion and permanence.
Can Art and Architecture save an endangered legacy and an uncertain future and rewrite them from a post-human point of view?
Alberto Carvalhinho, Andrea Canepa, António Nunes dos Santos, Cátia Pires,
Colectivo Warehouse, Edgar Graça, Diogo Rodrigues, Fernanda Fragateiro, Fernando Pimenta, Irene Venâncio, João Milheiro, João Oliveira, Joaquim Venâncio, Lurdes Nunes dos Santos, Nuno Alves, Nuno Vicente, Rosa Pereira, Sérgio Forte, Sónia Latado, Studio Lapatsch|Unger and Vanessa Foster
Câmara Municipal do Fundão — Paulo Fernandes, President; Câmara Municipal da Guarda — Carlos Chaves Monteiro, President; and Guarda 2027 — Pedro Gadanho, Executive Director
Fernanda Craveiro e Telma Marques
Architectural Affairs — Carlos Pastor Garcia
Architectural Affairs — Rita Amado
Sílvia Escórcio, CUCO Curating Communication
And Atelier — João Araújo & Rita Huet
Pedro Santasmarinas and Vasco Mendes
Pedro Santasmarinas, Valentina Vagena and Vasco Mendes
Andreia Garcia, Pedro Gadanho, Miguel Rainha, Miguel von Hafe Pérez
and Carlos Fernandes
Ana Luís Bogalheiro e Vítor dos Santos Amaral
Famalicão da Serra (Guarda)
Chestnut wood basketry
Chestnut wood basketry
Janeiro de Cima (Fundão)
CHESTNUT WOOD BASKETRY
‘The Baskets‘ is the result of a non-verbal collaborative design process with the chestnut basket makers Joaquim and Irene Venâncio from Famalicão da Serra. An experiment, that resulted in a new typology and open-ended object that exaggerates the character of its construction, the core of the craft in itself. The object appears simply, yet it illustrates the knowledge of lifelong experiences that still requires the human hand. Nowadays basket makers are true conservationists. They practice the most humble and cyclical craft, used over the millennia to make functional objects for all daily aspects. The project is driven by these connotations of the practice; that represents the complex relationship between the natural and the manmade respecting the natural plant cycle within the forest. Since ancient times, Mediterranean forests have been a habitat for human activity; the ground of destruction and attempted resurrection; of ritual and tradition; of growth and decay; of history and future.
OFICINA JOAQUIM & IRENE VENÂNCIO
Rua de Santo António 21, 6300–100 Famalicão
Visiting hours: according to the workshop schedule or knock on the door of the artisans’ house.
Starting from the relationship between sculpture, architecture and text, I used wicker and handmade basketry techniques to build sculptures that appear to be drawings woven in space. In working with the artisan Alberto Carvalhinho, the challenge was to change the scale: moving from the domestic scale of the basketwork object to the scale of the architectural space, as a way to enhance the characteristics of wicker as a natural, flexible, delicate and strong material with great potential for use in sculpture and architecture. Throughout the residence, long and narrow sculptures were created in whole woven wickerwork, as well as several mats woven in cracked wicker, which explore the idea of an unfinished and endless space. The pieces are suspended from the ceiling, across the rooms, or are integrated into the house overtures, in a permanent tension with the architectural space. In this beautiful manor house, made of granite and long unoccupied, we found a symbolic place to show these works and reflect on the urgency of caring for and recovering what is precious and in danger of disappearing.
SOLAR ‘A CASA GRANDE’
Rua Primeiro de Maio 2–8, 6300–115 Gonçalo
Visiting hours: monday to sunday, 9am — 5pm.
According to the scientific journal Plos One, 75% of European insect species have disappeared in the last 30 years, including pollinating agents such as bees and butterflies. The consequences are serious and it is urgent to think about solutions to minimize this massive loss. It’s essential to develop new ways of being among humans, non-humans, and non-living beings. It’s urgent to learn new ways of approaching the territory and approaches that favour mutualism, attention to micro scales and that enable the balance of ecosystems. The project is based on a systemic conception of the environment and explores spaces interpreted as secondary — the spaces that Gilles Clément calls the ‘Third Landscape’ — territories that escape human control and that globally represent the last strongholds for species that do not adapt to the human life. Using technical precepts, the project intends to provide discreet assistance to a life that is in free expansion: an art form that could be called Transpublic, because it extends beyond an exclusively human cultural attention.
CASA DO BARRO
Rua 11 de Abril 27, 6230–772 Telhado
T. 275 779 040
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9am — 1pm + 2pm — 5:30pm
CASAL DE SANTA MARIA (Cidade fantasma)
Rua do Cimo, 6230–772 Telhado
Instalation in the exterior
In the warehouses of the Municipality of Fundão, between refrigerators and abandoned cars, we rescued a forgotten object, which was readily recognized by the ‘Fundanenses’ as the old carousel ‘of the school of Alcaide’. This carousel is garbage, it's an obsolete object. Simultaneously, it testimonies a collective memory — a handcrafted artefact, an analogue pivot — which failed to fulfil its function due to the inadequacy to the parameters that are currently required for its category of objects. We tried to reflect on how to guarantee the carousel's survival and we did it by establishing a dialogue between the ancient and the new, and between the analogue and the digital. Our precious device was digital fabrication; however, our process was inevitably analogic. The project requires interaction and human action to activate its mechanism, it is also accompanied by a QR Code with a digital file that can be cut in any Fab Lab and assembled by everyone who wishes to give back the carousel its original function.
Praça do Município, 6230–338 Fundão
Installation in public space
CHESTNUT WOOD BASKETRY
In homage to the people of Alcongosta, to their labour and crafts talent, the raw material of basketry is presented — the chestnut wood — applied in an installation and in several prototypes. The installation shows the chestnut wood, sometimes as braised sticks, and other times transformed into baskets that, according to their chromatic composition and formal arrangement, explore the design of light in an exercise of object reinterpretation and re-signification. Looking from the outside, the ensemble that forms the installation seeks to match the built-up scale, occupying and endowing Alcongosta's public space with a new element, created from a raw material that is familiar to its community. At the same time, in prototyping, traditional techniques and knowledge are crossed with digital fabrication and industrial methods for the production of everyday objects. The mutation and adaptation of basket weaving techniques to new objects are associated with the need to value this art, and also test on bringing crafts closer to contemporaneity.
Rua da Igreja, 6230–040 Alcongosta
Installation in public space
To weave a script emerges from a crossroad between art and data science. Its starting point was the desire to find a way to codify and embed a computational process in the material construction of an object, so that a mathematical algorithm would dictate the tangible structure that gives shape to said object. For this we have converted machine learning algorithms — modelled to predict the price of cotton — into multivariate polynomials. Then, using a method inspired by mathematician and weaver Ada Dietz (1949), we have been able to translate these polynomials to weaving patterns. These patterns were woven using cotton yarns in collaboration with the artisans of Casa das Tecedeiras. The resulting pieces look to tie abstract information and its processing to the material world that sustains it.
CASA DAS TECEDEIRAS
Rua do Paraíso 16, 6185–125 Janeiro de Cima
T. 934 103 813
Visiting hours: monday to friday, 1:30 pm — 4:30 pm
INLAND Campo Adentro
NIDA Art Colony
José María Torres Nadal
Rodrigues, Pimenta & Oliveira
Amanda Masha Caminals
Marina Otero Verzier
Master in Visual Arts and Multimedia Andrea holds a bachelor in Fine Arts from Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Winner of ARCO Comunidad de Madrid Award for Young Artists (2014), Madrid, Best International Artist Award ARCO 2020, Spanish Association of Art Critics, Madrid and winner of a research grant (2020) by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin.
Master in Mathematics from University of Toronto and holds a bachelor in Mathematics from McMaster University. Her work have been part of the Berlin start-up scene for the last 8 years in data science and big data analytics. She has been working in combining theoretical thinking and big data to create actionable insights for companies. Currently she is working at LiquidM Technology GmbH as a Senior Data Scientist, in Berlin.
The Collective Warehouse develops participatory architecture projects of cultural and social scope. The design and construction of participatory processes lead to results with greater impact on the emerging urban landscape. Warehouse projects seek to contribute to the collective and responsible construction of public and private space and grounds its architectural praxis through design, experimentation, mediation processes, civic participation, collaboration and practical intervention.
They understand the architect's role as a mediator, aware of the impact that initiatives to activate urban space and social interventions have on the communities that inhabit the city.
The differentiating factor of the collective is the ability to design and build its own projects. The Hands-on approach is transversal to their practice and is a big part of their identity.
Master's in Architecture student at Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. Director of Dédalo Magazine since 2018. Founding member of Associação Ambientalista Movimento Gaio since 2018. Founder of the cultural association Ponto Parágrafo, since 2019.
Master in Architecture from Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto with the dissertation on the political condition of production and teaching-learning in architecture. Researcher at i2ADS. Director of the journal Dédalo in 2017 and member of the editorial team in 2018. Founding member of the cultural association Ponto Parágrafo since 2019.
Master's in Architecture student at Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. He is part of the editorial team of Dédalo Magazine. In 2019 carries out the curatorial work of CinePonto, whose theme focused on the issues of the right to the city and gentrification.
Fernanda Fragateiro lives and works in Lisbon. Operating in the field of three-dimensionality, challenging the tension between architecture and sculpture, Fernanda Fragateiro's work enhances relationships with place, invoking the spectator into a position of performativity. Some of her projects have resulted from collaborations with other visual artists, architects, landscape architects and performers.
Her work has been exhibited in different museums and national and international institutions such as Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna Contemporanea in Rome, Museu de Arte Miguel Urrutia (Bogotá), Museu de Arquitetura, Arte e Tecnologia (Lisboa) CaixaForum (Barcelona), Palais des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University (Cambridge), The Bronx Museum of the Arts (New York), MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico City), Centro Cultural de Belém, Fundação de Serralves (Porto), among others.
Master in Fine Arts from Escola Superior de Arte e Design das Caldas da Rainha (ESAD.CR) and in Investigación en Arte y Creación from Faculdad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (ESP). He was nominated for the 2007 edition of the prize Millennium Anteciparte and was selected for the show “Exposição 90-10, 20 Anos de Artes Plásticas” (2011). His work has most recently been exhibited individually in the exhibitions “Estudos para o Jardim Botânico e uma peça para o rio Zêzere” (2019), Museu Ecológico de Belmonte and in “The amateur ornithologist” (2020), Centre d’Art Terres Del Ebre e Eufònics, Matadero de Amposta.
He currently lives and works between Madrid and Alicante, where he is developing a free sprawling butterfly garden for Centro de Artes Las Cigarreras.
Design duo based in Berlin with a research-based work relating to the practices of anthropology and archaeology exploring material culture and cultural phenomena, to revel hidden informations and layers of knowledge between the past, present and future. In their pratice they develop formats, lectures, curate exhibitions, conceive and hold experimental design workshops for various international institutions in the cultural field.
Their work have been exhibited at “CRITICAL ZONES. Observatories for Earthly Politics” (2020), ZKM Karlshruhe; “unsown” (2019), Klein Humboldt Galerie, Berlin; “Kohle, Koks and Pech” (2019), Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Switzerland and others. They were the winners of Talente Prize 2018, Munich.