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Guimaraes 2012

Fabrica ASA, Guimaraes

The ASA Factory represents a timing that translates into a physically renewed space, which opens its doors to an entirely new cultural feel, here Guimaraes 2012 European Capital of Culture will present most of its scheduled activities of artistic creation and its educative service. Two important exhibitions are unveiled: works which are part of some public and private institutional collections, and the life and work of architect and urbanist Nuno Portas.

comunicato stampa

In this post-industrial age, it is urgent to find solutions for derelict spaces. Once symbols of a thriving industrial era, they have become undervalued and abandoned areas as a consequence of an ongoing process of economic and social rearrangement. This scenario calls for a concrete proposal – one that produces visible effects among the community. Such effects are intended to be renewal-oriented and capable of establishing the necessary bridges between the past and the future, creating a new timing for opportunities, for the sharing of ideas, for the adjustment to a new reality.
The ASA Factory represents this new timing – a timing that translates into a physically renewed space, which opens its doors to an entirely new cultural feel. It is in this industrial building from the 1960s, teeming with memories that bear witness to the region’s history over the past century, that Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture will present most of its scheduled activities of artistic creation and its educative service.

The month of March at ASA will be the stage of innumerable artistic performances: creativity laboratories; trial and experiment spaces for theatre, dance and music makers; shared working spaces for creative activities where permanent contact with other professionals and artists enhances work capacity and collaborations; workshop space aimed at young audiences and visitor welcome space. The ASA Factory will include a Black Box, an auditorium, a radio studio, a bookshop, several exhibition areas and a Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture welcome centre.

It is precisely in one of these spaces, the Black Box, that one of the first results of the artists-in-residence programme in performing arts will be revealed on 9 March: LabOFilm &1: The Regret of Snow White, a scenic play and a film editing experience by choreographer Olga Mesa that simultaneously brings to mind the poem of Robert Walser and the reading of filmmaker João César Monteiro. With this project, Olga Mesa develops her choreographic languages through framing games, the crossing of shots and countershots and live editing. These procedures and this film grammar offer the audience a unique experience, with an ever-increasing sensory charge as the performance progresses.

On the next day, Saturday, 10 March, the first moment (Crossings and Stagings) of the Curators’ Lab continues, encouraging exchange among audiences, artists, curators and creation processes. This moment will be devoted to the interconnections and means of attraction of artistic objects and events, evolving from the reflection on multidisciplinary creation and focusing on projects grounded upon the notion of a creative community. This space was built from the performance architecture of the EXYZT/ConstructLab collective under the coordination of Alex Roemer; it will host the Sonores project – Sound | Space | Signal and the residence of the SOOPA collective; and it will also rely on the editorial design by the Barbara Says... duo, as well as other invited projects.

The tenth of March will also leave an indelible mark on the memory of Guimarães 2012 as a day of inaugurations. Two important exhibitions are unveiled:

Curated by Paulo Mendes, the project stems from an idea of collection that entails the use of works which are part of some public and private institutional collections such as the Serralves Foundation, Culturgest/Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the BESArt – Coleção Banco Espírito Santo photography collection, Museu do Chiado, EDP and others. An important ensemble of new works created by Portuguese and international artists for this exhibition will be side by side with the works gathered from the existing collections.

The ‘appropriated’ works from the collections will function in a dialogue with the newly-produced works. This extensive group of erudite works co-exists with amateur collections and their less sacred objects, examples of post-Ford industrial mass production. In these reactivated ruins will be a display device that uses patterned and precarious construction materials to maintain the traits of a space with a memory and an industrial past. The materials will be low tech to correspond with an exhibition that is low budget.

Bringing this about will not erase the presence of the building’s former manufacturing structure (the former ASA factory), since some features of the building were preserved and certain equipment and objects are present in the final set-up of the exhibition as they create spaces of resonance with the question of labour, manufacturing and distribution. Individual memory intersects with collective memory. The exhibition display will function in an organic way through a tentacle-like organizational network that will be distributed along the exhibition space, filling the display area with various thematic clusters.

Participants: André Alves, António Rego, Arlindo Silva, Cristina Mateus, Eduardo Matos, Fernando Brízio, Fernando José Pereira, Harun Farocki, Hugo Canoilas, Jack Strange, João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva, João Tabarra, Luís Ribeiro, Luiza Baldan, Mafalda Santos, Manuel Santos Maia, Miguel Leal, Miguel Palma, Nuno Ramalho, Nuno Sousa Vieira, Pedro Cabral Santo, Pedro Infante, Pierre Candide, Rita Castro Neves, A Kills B, Mariana Pestana, Contentores P28 (among others).

The exhibition provides an approach to the various levels and ways of thinking and building the city, guided by a common thread, i.e. the life and work of architect and urbanist Nuno Portas. This multiple and heterodox character has lived through the fundamental moments of Portuguese urban culture over the past 50 years, producing impressive works of reference – in the fields of planning, architecture, writing – that mark and index the different decades. The exhibition, curated by Nuno Grande, relies on elements of strong “visuality”, with recourse to the projection of images (film excerpts, historical documents, recorded interviews); digitised texts and photographs printed in large scale (covers and pages of period books or magazines, emblematic paragraphs and concepts); light tables or boxes containing objects (slides, books, instruments). These elements are grouped into thematic clusters, arranged in multi-shape and multi-scale spaces to be visited in a random manner (without a previously defined exhibition path), conjuring up the thought of “urban drift” on the very premises of the event.

This exhibitions is part of the Cycle Modes of Production of the Art & Architecture programme of Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture.

Fábrica Asa - Covas, Polvoreira, Guimarães
Opening hours:
Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 8 pm.
Thursdays to Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm.

Guimaraes 2012
dal 9/3/2012 al 19/5/2012

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