The Art and Architecture programme is divided into four cycles: On audiences, Means of Production, Scales and territories and the (off)cycle entitled New languages and public space.
These cycles comprise projects, exhibitions, word events and publications. The projects include participations that can range from residencies to forms of involvement with the community and may result in exhibition formats. Exhibitions are any production format involving contact with audiences and may take place in a museum, public place or unconventional locations. Word events may take a variety of forms, ranging from one or two-day international conferences to semi-formal conversations with artists or participants in projects and/or exhibitions, master classes, etc. Publications include catalogues, books and guides, among others, and all of them are at least bilingual and will be distributed abroad.
In a broad sense, the structure of the programme revolves around concepts of spatialisation and dissemination. The aim is to generate different types of physical and symbolic space in which artistic practices and critical thought can be involved in the discussion of the usability of an interventive space for art and in the questioning of relational artistic practices. We also foster discussion of the idea of a manufactured, mediated landscape and address issues such as the dissemination of works of art or feelings generated by modes of symbolic and aesthetic appropriation.
Always focusing not only on local contexts but also on broader settings, the entire programme is designed for intervention and repositioning of curatorship, regarded from the point of view of exhibitions and the production of ideas on curatorship and collaboration with general and specialised audiences. Most of the works in the programme are contextual and specifically produced for Guimarães 2012, which boasts the participation of artists, architects, designers and curators on an international scale.
The cycle will include a group of projects called Connectors, which will contain proposals from individual or collective outside partners. They are projects that did not originate in the Art and Architecture programme, but whose nature warrants their association with the programme. As a rule, they are multidisciplinary and may merge with other programme areas, such as Music, Performing Arts or Cinema.
In addition to these Connectors, there will be a comprehensive project entitled the Curatorship Laboratory, which will create a meeting place for different agents connected to curatorship and artistic production in order to question and reflect on the role of curatorship and its models of action. This project will call upon architects to create temporary physical spaces, curators to form critical spaces, artists to generate spaces for exchanges and philosophers to set up symbolic spaces.
Other examples of projects in this cycle include the conference Humanity on the Move, which is the fruit of research into forms of mobility of different Portuguese communities or related to Portugal and how their identity is formed; and a creative documentary by the architect Fernando Távora in partnership with the Cinema programme.
There will also be at least one monographic exhibition on the work of a renowned artist in the panorama of contemporary art.
This cycle includes an exhibition of experimental architecture from the Archigram group. The exhibition will show the innovative concepts and visionary projects of this British group, which was particularly active from 1961 to 1974. It has both recreational and educational aspects and will therefore be an event that will attract new audiences, such as children and secondary school and university students.
There will be other exhibitions, such as Devir Menor on architecture and emerging spatial projects in Ibero-America, designed by inês Moreira and Susana Caló; New Media – Emergences, curated by Marta de Menezes and aimed at an understanding of the technical and technological conditions favouring or conditioning experimentation with contemporary art works in the area of new media, with artists such as Dan Ackroyd & Heather Harvey, Sarah Jane Pell, John Klima and Gustavo Romano; and the exhibition Collecting, Collections and Concepts, curated by Paulo Mendes and including artists such as Carla Filipe, Miguel Palma, Manuel Santos Maia and the designer Fernando Brízio, which questions traditional forms of exhibition and the conceptual articulation underlying the act of collecting, accumulating and archiving objects and works of art and contemplates the use of works in Portuguese institutional collections.
The cycle also includes the Views and Processes project, which is based on invitations to a number of artists to focus work processes on specific areas in the municipality of Guimarães and address the context from the angle of their choice. The aim is to compare disciplinary approaches to the actual idea of context, the transfer of meaning and the possibilities of positioning artistic practice in the contemporary world. The project involves well-known names in the Portuguese artistic arena, such as Ângela Ferreira, Emese Benzcur, Alfredo Jaar, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Raqs Media Collective, Lee Mingwey and Ricardo Basbaum, among others.
It includes projects such as Edifícios e Vestígios (Buildings and Remains), devised by Inês Moreira and Aneta Szylak, which examines the post-industrial age through its buildings. It is like an essay reflecting on space and buildings and their future potential and includes the views of artists such as André Cepeda and Eduardo Matos. The project takes the form of an exhibition, conference, visual catalogue and bilingual book.
Missão Fotográfica (Photographic Mission) reflects on the Guimarães and Vale do Ave areas in an approach that involves Portuguese and foreign photographers. It is curated by Pedro Bandeira and Paulo Catrica. There is also the exhibition O Ser Urbano: a Cidade sob o Olhar de Nuno Portas (The Urban Being: the city through the eyes of Nuno Portas), curated by Nuno grande, which shows the different scales and ways of thinking and making the city. Its central theme is the life and work of Nuno Portas, an architect and urban planner. The exhibition includes filmed testimony on Portas’s life, work and influence by Portuguese and foreign personalities from different disciplinary fields and a conference, book, catalogue and some thematic films.
Castelo: Raiz e Utopia (Castle: Root and Utopia), which will be curated by Paulo Cunha e Silva, will involve a transdisciplinary series of events associated with the castle, in which a combination of languages appears as a far-reaching narrative. Artists, philosophers, scientists, film directors, writers and creators of the performing arts will be among its participants, and there will also be incursions into cuisine and interpretations of a model of a castle by designers.
Obra de Papel (Paper Work) is an inclusive temporary intervention consisting of a work in a format usually associated with the free monthly newspaper to be distributed in 2011 and 2012 in a total of 24 issues. It brings together artists with established international careers and emerging artists and participants will include Matt Mulican, Mauro Cerqueira, Cristina Mateus, Rita Castro Neves, Martina Schmid, Susana Mendes Silva, Lawrence Weiner, António Olaio, Miguel Leal, Julião Sarmento and Francisco Queiroz, among others.
This cycle also includes two international competitions, one to design a three-dimensional piece for a public place in Guimarães, which will remain after 2012, and another temporary one curated by Pedro Gadanho, for the creation of mobile or temporary structures aimed at art and architecture students and young professionals. There are also special invitations to Portuguese and foreign professionals, whose works will be exhibited and used in public places in Guimarães.