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The Coming Museum

Pedro.Barateiro_audience650

 

 

Dear Visitant,

If you could dream up a museum, how would it be?

The first steps in devising a program for a contemporary art space pose a great challenge. “What should be the new program’s first exhibition?” there is only one first show. After that, come all the others”

I would like this initial moment to symbolize the entire programmatic line to develop at Fórum Eugénio de Almeida. An exhibition-manifesto. The Coming Museum is exactly that: a mission statement. The show asserts these principles not by listing them, but by presenting a number of questions that may help us reflect on the role and importance that spaces like Fórum Eugénio de Almeida have today. “What is the purpose of art and art exhibitions? What is the purpose of curators? What is the purpose of museums? How do we, the public, relate to this entity? Do we desire it? Do we need it? Do we want the museum we have the right to, or the one that is given to us? And what do we want this museum for? What role do we want this museum that we dream of to have in our community?” Affirming the Fórum as a place for creation and a place for the construction of the individual and of our society, the aim of this exhibition is not so much to answer these questions as it is to remember that, as we create and construct them, we all face the challenges they pose.

The exhibition brings together artists and artworks that deal with many of the issues we think as essential to this debate: participation, sharing, diversity, exploration, community, and the creation of new narratives and new perspectives. To join us in this first adventure we invited Aires Mateus, Alejandro Cesarco, Alicja Kwade, André Komatsu, Anne Collier, Beatriz Gonzalez, Carla Filipe, Carlos Garaicoa, Candice Breitz, Dora Garcia, Fernanda Fragateiro, Francis Alÿs, Futurefarmers, Guido van der Werve, Jeppe Hein, Latifa Echakhch, Luis Camnitzer, Musa paradisiaca, Pedro Barateiro, Rosa Barba, Runo Lagomarsino, Vasco Araújo and Yona Friedman.

This exhibition is the beginning of a new path and the first moment of a new relationship between the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, the city of Évora, and Portugal. Ours is a voice that, desiring to fully assert itself within the limits of its concrete geography, wants to be heard beyond the walls of this city. As such, Fórum Eugénio de Almeida inaugurates a programmatic reflection around the dilemma of how to articulate the singularity and specificity of its local context with the challenges posed by international contemporary artistic creation and the currents of thought associated to it.

With a new vision, and because this is a new path, this first press-release was written in a different way. Instead of a common statement to the press, we chose to write a letter addressed to each one of our visitors, to each inhabitant of this city, to each of the artists we have collaborated with, or with whom we will collaborate in the future.

 

A letter to all our current and future partners and friends that simply reads: let us dream a new museum together. The Coming Museum occupies all the Fórum’s exhibition space, and extends to other spaces that belong to the Foundation, such as the Paço de São Miguel and the Cartuxa Winery, as well as to other cultural institutions in town, such as the Évora Museum and the Public Library. At the same time, we will inaugurate the project Micro-events or the Possibility of Being Wrong, by Colombian artist Nicolás Paris. In the course of one year, Paris will work with the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida and with a study group in order to, through monthly interventions in the Fórum’s building, question the way the space is inhabited. These micro-events will transform the use of the space, small interventions that will reveal new uses and generate new narratives. Starting at the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, this project will have its second moment in November, with a solo exhibition at the Museu Coleção Berardo, and may later evolve and grow into other places and geographies.

If the The Coming Museum expresses the desire for a new and closer relationship with the public and with the community that the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida is a part of, the project by Nicolás Paris embodies a new openness to artists and experimentation. Both projects wish to share with you the new path for this renewed institution.

 

Filipa Oliveira

Évora, March 2015