Serralves Foundation comes to Católica to democratize contemporary art

Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 18:26
Correio do Minho

The Padre Júlio Fragata Library is hosting one of the four sections of the exhibition 'Hands on the city'. Until April 7th, you can see works by E. M. de Melo e Castro rescued from the Serralves Foundation's collection.

Fundação de Serralves veio à Católica democratizar a arte contemporânea

The Júlio Fragata Library of the Braga Regional Center of the Portuguese Catholic University (UCP) is hosting the exhibition 'Hands on the city. Artistic investigations in the urban environment', with works by E. M. de Melo e Castro, from the Serralves Foundation collection.

Yesterday, at the inauguration, the president of the Serralves Foundation, Ana Pinho, pointed out that the exhibition is part of a line of programming by the institution that aims to democratize art. "We're going to places where it's difficult to get contemporary art to reach," she said, after the pro-rector of UCP, João Duque, praised the Serralves Foundation's choice to "tour the country"
'Hands on the City' presents a set of works by Portuguese and international artists represented in the Serralves Collection that focus on contemporary urban reality, investigating the physical, economic, social and cultural processes that shape life in the city.

The exhibition was created for UCP's four campuses: Braga, Porto, Viseu and Lisbon, where the exhibition "Looking at the relationship between art, citizenship and democracy" was inaugurated on January 23.

The Júlio Fragata Library of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the UCP's Braga Regional Center hosts a section of the exhibition dedicated to the artist, poet and essayist, E. M.?de Melo e Castro, a choice that João Duque considered fortunate, since his works can be appreciated in a "house that has always been dedicated to philosophical thought and literature".

The Braga section of 'Hands on the City' features graphic interventions by Melo e Castro from the period after April 25, 1974, in which the artist appropriated road signs "as support for political messages that subverted their original meaning.

Curated by Joana Valsassina, this section is the result of UCP's membership of the Serralves Foundation's founding body and is part of the Oporto-based institution's itinerant exhibitions program, which aims to make its contemporary art collection accessible to diverse audiences in all regions of the country.

The promoters of 'Hands on the City' maintain that the urban centers where the Catholic University is present are distinct, so the exhibition takes these territories and their different characteristics as its starting point.

The academic community of these four locations thus has access to different parts of a single exhibition, allowing art to reach more and different audiences.