entry: General Conditions


"A walk from Rua Serpa Pinto to the Largo da Academia de Belas-Artes"

Markus Ambach

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museucampus, a walk between production and representation

The exhibition focuses on the today nearly invisible neighbourhood of the two institutions MNAC - Museu do Chiado and the Faculdade de Belas Artes. Both based in the centre of Lisbon back to back in the same block, their continuous spatial neighbourhood changed intensely in determination and means over the years, also marking important changes in the productive, political and social means of art. These changing relations are embodied in a small door which used to connect the two spheres, not only physically but also metaphysically, allowing political and social influences to permeate between the realms of production and representation.

The door, closed in 1944 and only reopened in 2010, incorporates the juxtaposition between the place of production of art and its defining, value-enhancing and accumulating social institutions. The reopening of the door not only established a new pathway from the settled, honourable museum’s sculpture garden to the vibrant campus of the students, but also created a shortcut between ideology and strategy, representation and production, accumulation and practice, history and future, allowing them to enter into a discourse of their relations.

The Walk

While the reopened door offers a new spatial opportunity, the exchange between both spheres is still not fully established. The project refers to this situation in both actual and historical terms. A “guided tour” delineates a walk through both institutions and leads the visitor along a marked path from the museum’s sculpture garden through the reopened door, directly into the vibrant centre of art production in the faculty. The project articulates the hidden neighbourhood and its interactions, and helps to establish new discourses and relations between the faculty and the museum, also hoping to initiate a new use of both territories and spaces.

The Project Room

In the project room the visitors find an installation which assembles exhibits of all kinds in the middle of the space. These exhibits are presented in the classic language of a museum: glass-cases and plinths display artefacts, sculptures and cultural items. All exhibits are taken from the faculty: works by students, leftovers in workshops and other things are revaluated by the language and place of the museum to become artefacts and cultural goods. The walls surrounding the scene show an archive of photographs of more or less inconsiderable things and practices noticed along the walk: haphazardly stored trash, accidental material agglomerations, purposeless writings, forgotten plants and materials, sculptures and cleaning environments photographed at both the museum and faculty. Through their representation, the objects loose their original sense, associated to the daily practice of unconscious activities, and suggest a new approach to art.

Markus Ambach