The Painting Workshop will be Responsible for the Painted Parts of the Set

A Oficina de Pintura Encarregar-se-á das Partes Pintadas do Cenário

Artists: Vasco Araújo, Bruno Bogarim, João Pedro Vale & Nuno Alexandre Ferreira, Javier Núñez Gasco, Sofia Gonçalves, André Guedes, Tatiana Macedo, Francisca Manuel , Adriana Molder, Pedro Neves Marques, Adriana Molder, Miguel Palma, Isaque Pinheiro, Júlio Pomar, Ana Pérez-Quiroga, Mariana Silva, André e. Teodósio, Pedro Tudela, Joana Villaverde, among others.
Curator: Susana Pomba

To commemorate the 125th anniversary of São Luiz, this exhibition puts together objects, performances, documentation and graphic material concerning artist collaborations with theatre companies and shows that were performed in this municipal theatre, during the 21st century.

First off we prepare our entrance in the main room, we see graphic materials – old São Luiz’s programs, we see a photograph of its grandiose red and gold room. Then we dodge the passive aggressiveness of the jaw and we go into the red. The carpet has as a colour reference, besides the number 251, the word “theatre”. It is 251-theatre, theatre-red. The floor of this exhibition room is the same colour as the one in a theatre. We await the turmoil, the drama and the action.

The title [The painting workshop will be responsible for the painted parts of the set, in Portuguese, A Oficina de Pintura Encarregar-se-á das Partes Pintadas do Cenário] is a sentence belonging to another time, redundant but quaint, found in between the pages of an old program. This sentence is used here to question the position in the last decades of artistic creation (many times solitary) within the context of the performing arts (almost always of shared authorship). Where can we find these collaborations? How did they develop? Do we still “paint” the set?

In the research undertaken, we found out that in the last 20 years São Luiz had significant examples of collaborations with different typologies. It is up to you visitor, now inside the red floor room, with the help of the informative labels to think about these collaborations that you will find throughout the exhibition room, connections that take different shapes and intensities: an image to promote the play, photographs to document, designing the set and/or the costumes, participating in the creation of the show, performing on stage, and the complete crossing and extensive jump from the fine arts to the creation of a show fully within a theatre context.

The exhibition centres itself in the last 20 years but refers to two historical authors in the study of these collaborations: Almada Negreiros and Júlio Pomar. The presence, summoned in the permanent group of chairs/ audience set in the beginning of the exhibition. These chairs are here to serve you, you that activate everything and fill it with meaning – dear visitor if it’s of your liking, you can use the chairs to ponder.

In the end, Tchekhov. The subtext when leaving the exhibition, is not forgetting that if there is a pistol on the wall in the 1st act, in the last it has to go off.

Susana Pomba

Photos: Cristiana Morais

all photos © Cristiana Morais