António Barros, Razão (Muro da Razão), 1979/1999. Coll. Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto. Acquisition 2010. Photography: Filipe Braga
Anything you say can be used against you. So can anything you don’t say.
An important figure in the Portuguese artistic scene, António Barros (Funchal, Portugal, 1953) has made his mark not only in the field of visual arts, but also in experimental writing and performance in Portugal.
Linked to the international movement FLUXUS and to Portuguese Experimental Poetry (PO. EX), António Barros develops a discourse of intervention based on the word and on its resignification through repetition, combination, and metamorphosis. The artist’s work, recognizable by its refined and incisive visual language, conveys a critical attitude towards the artistic and social context, interweaving the poetic with the political. António Barros redefines the concepts of text and artistic object, juxtaposing visual poetry with everyday objects and proposing the construction of space and objects as transformative agents of perception and sociability.
This display at the Palácio da Bolsa brings together some of the artist’s most emblematic works from the Serralves Collection that marked the beginning of his career in the late 1970s. The exhibit presents a set of object-poems — or ‘obgestos’ [obgestures], term used by the artist — that reveal an impetus for liberation particularly significant in the post-revolutionary context in which they appeared, while still maintaining their relevance and actuality today.
This initiative is part of the Touring Exhibitions Programme of the Serralves Collection, which aims to make the Foundation's collection accessible to different audiences across the country.
Organization: Serralves Foundation — Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto