Thursday, 29 September 2016

Home "sweet" home ... or being emotionally divided ...

Mia is (temporarily) back home in the land which witnessed her birth ... but wether it is the home sweet home one always craves for ... I personally have my doubts ...
United Kingdom has provided her with what her home country wasn't able to - the means to "survive" ... and for all she loves Portugal she now has a deep bond towards her father's homeland ... 
Being emotionally divided seems to be irrelevant ... because the importance lies on being emotionally balanced ... and that, she certainly is.

Photo taken upon her recent arrival at Lisbon Airport

The latest book I have read ...

I was given a book for my birthday, which I have just recently started reading. The Palestinian lover by Sélim Nassib (in its Portuguese version) on a secret love affair between Golda Meir and a Palestinian banker caught me off guard and the reason it did (I believe) is tied to the fact that I had always looked at Golda as an exclusively political oriented figure whose sole thoughts and actions couldn't revolve but around a selflessness and devotion-like type of behaviour.

Imagining her having an affair (not so much that it was with a Palestinian) was something beyond my wildest thoughts, which is totally absurd on my part, I must confess but having been conveyed the idea that the thing that mattered most in her life was giving herself to the Zionist led me to wrongly assume that she had no "personal" life.

I quite liked the book, which  made me sympathise with her lover's "ordeal", despite having provided me with a better understanding of what it requires to be strong-willed and do what needs to be done even if one's personal life is affected by one's convictions.

Following the recent demise of Shimon Peres Obama stated the "there are very few people who share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves" and I strongly believe these words could eaily be applicable to her as well.

 "(...) if a thing has to be done you don't waste time with theories and ebates. You just do it." - Golda Meir.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The latest film I have watched ...

Set in New Orleans and based on a novel by Nicolas Bazan, a neurocientist specializing in Alzeihmer's disease, Of Mind and Music is an evocative portrait of love and loss, dignity and despair in the face of such a fate, approaching the subject matter of Alzeihmer's and the toll it takes on caregivers with a deeply affecting emotional restraint. It interweaves storylines with beautiful blues-like music and numerous flashbacks.

A moving drama enhanced by superb performances (amongst which one by a Portuguese actor Manuel de Almeida, who plays the role of the neurocientist).


Semi permanent exhibition on Portuguese historical and artistic events of the past at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisboa - The 25th of September 2016

As I was about to leave the Museum I realised there was a gallery on some rather interesting historical facts of the Portuguese life in illustrated paintings and brochures of Art exhibitions of the past.
I found it to be very important particularly for the younger generation who hasn't but heard about disperse facts and not been exposed to them, such as censorship. One of the sketches had been stamped by the Government entity that supervised the publishing process at the time. 
My attention was equally drawn to some brochures on Art exhibitions related to the Portuguese painter Amadeo de Sousa Cardoso's exhibition in France and the first Portuguese African colonies' one in early twentieth century.

Gouache and graphite on paper - 1922 by Jorge Barradas.

Ink and grafite on paper - 1933 - by Bernardo Marques -  (censored by the government for publication purposes, as seen on the right hand side).

Liberdade, Igualdade e Fraternidade (Freedom, Equality and Fraternity) - 1922 - ink, wash and gouache on paper by Jorge Barradas (left). Portuguese illustration - 1922 - ink, wash and gouache on paper by António Soares (right).


Portrait of the Portuguese writer Maria da Graça Freire - 1958  by Eduardo Mata (left). Untitled - 1947 by Cipriano Dourado (right).

I then came across four 1975 gouache on paper paintings from the series of Portuguese Folk Stories by Paula Rego, as well as some of her sketches.

A map which depicted the number of Portuguese overseas colonies brought back primary school memories. The map we had to virtually "memorise" as young children, so as not to forget the importance of Portugal and the role it played in the world, was there right in front of me ... it made me "shiver" as it used to before. Close to it stood another one stating Portugal is not a small country ... (I wonder what we could showcase now!...)


Monday, 26 September 2016

Retrospective exhibition of José Escada's artistic work at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisboa - The 25th of September 2016

Escada is a name I had vaguely heard of though I had never seen any of his works. I was fortunate enough to be able to see part of them in yet another retrospective ensemble exhibition within the same space I saw Olé's at.

Untitled - Portrait of J. Teixeira - 1974 - Acrylic paint on plywood.

Untitled - 1980 - Acrylic paint and collage on canvas.


Still Life -  1979 - Oil on canvas.


The temptations of St. Anthony - 1979 - Oil on canvas.

I quite liked his series of "From my window", which is strongly associated with his stay at Sanatório do Caramulo in 1977 and 1978 and which chromatically speaking I was taken by.



Le rêve argenté (The silver dream) - 1967  - Alluminium alloy cut-out reliefs on an alluminium foil base.
José Escada's three dimensionality and his cut-out reliefs are believed to have been ways in which the artist sought to "engage with the audience", based on a sort of physical experience, envisaging tactile, manipulable andephemeral objects. The collage and three-dimensional reliefs in paper, metal and plastic were mainly produced during his scolarship in France, though he returned to them some time later, during the 1974 Portuguese Revolution. 

 Joie de vivre - 1960 - oil on canvas.

There is quite an almost palpable sense of experimentation on his part, which must have undoubtedly led to the production of a wide variety of artistic works using numerous types of material and techniques. His work is based on the continuity and persistence of seeing, as a means of revisiting and reinventing his own work. His last lifetime exhibition was titled as in accordance with the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa's words -  "I do not evolve I travel" ... and that's exactly what I feel Escada is (was) ...