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Maia Biennial
La Forêt Monumentale
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Re:Collection

Maia Biennial

Co-curator of Architecture at the Maia Biennial of Contemporary Art

The Maia Biennial of Contemporary Art ’19, promoted by Maia Municipal Council, took place from 11 May to 27 July 2019 inside 16 containers spread across 7 locations in the municipality.

Under the theme Import/Export — with Andreia Garcia as chief curator and the co-curatorship of Diogo Aguiar and Javier Peña Ibáñez (Architecture disciplinary axis); Luís Albuquerque Pinho and Luís Pinto Nunes (Fine Arts disciplinary axis); Sara Orsi (New Media disciplinary axis) and Vera Sacchetti (Design disciplinary axis) — the 8th edition of the Maia Biennial of Contemporary Art hosted over 40 national and international artists (Germany, Spain, United States of America, Denmark, Holland, France, England, Italy, Macedonia, Switzerland, Venezuela). Featuring 24 new creations and 33 events this Biennial offered several programme moments — book presentations, talks, happenings, performances, visits and workshops.

Dates: May 11 – July 27, 2019

Promoter: Câmara Municipal da Maia – Pelouro da Cultura

Chief Curator: Andreia Garcia

Co-curators: Diogo Aguiar, Javier Peña Ibáñez, Luís Albuquerque Pinho, Luís Pinto Nunes, Sara Orsi, Vera Sacchetti

General Coordination: Andreia Garcia Architectural Affairs

Participants in the Architecture disciplinary axis: TAKK, Fernando Abellanas, Popticum y Space Transcribers

Support: Acción Cultural Española AC/E

Russian Doll by TAKK. Photography Tiago Casanova

Russian Doll by TAKK. Photography Tiago Casanova

Russian Doll by TAKK. Photography Tiago Casanova

Russian Doll by TAKK. Photography Tiago Casanova

Práxis by Fernando Abellanas. Photography Tiago Casanova

Práxis by Fernando Abellanas. Photography Tiago Casanova

Práxis by Fernando Abellanas. Photography Tiago Casanova

Handle with Air by Popticum. Photography Tiago Casanova

Handle with Air by Popticum. Photography Tiago Casanova

Handle with Air by Popticum. Photography Tiago Casanova

Handle with Air by Popticum. Photography Tiago Casanova

Alocar/Deslocar by Space Transcribers. Photography Tiago Casanova

Alocar/Deslocar by Space Transcribers. Photography Tiago Casanova

Alocar/Deslocar by Space Transcribers. Photography Tiago Casanova

Alocar/Deslocar by Space Transcribers. Photography Tiago Casanova

Under the theme of the Maia Biennial of Contemporary Art ‘19 – Import/Export –, and determined to reconnect the city with its boundaries, the Architecture axis is that of a practice that establishes a link between people and places. The mere gesture of occupying a space, of putting pressure on a place just by using it, is clearly a curatorial stance: that of provoking places elicit relationships.

In the city of Maia, where urban fusion is tangible, architecture promotes a direct and visible dialogue to reactivate and demonstrate its value as a social tool. Occupying the territory in a disseminated manner, and proposing other built realities, architecture turns its own space into a meeting place for debate and reflection on its context, on artistic proposals as something that is concrete and tangible, but also creates a display of reality.

As architecture is the discipline responsible for the manipulation of space, the Architecture programme for the Maia Biennial of Contemporary Art ‘19 resorts to sea containers as transformable spatial devices ready to receive interventions. The containers should apply a proximity scale, from which architects have often distanced themselves to merge into the context of the quotidian, of the market, of transportation, of the urban park and of the geographic and social limits.

Different artists/architects were challenged to approach their container not only as the space to contain an exhibition but as the very content of the exhibition itself, in a close relationship with the general theme and the territorial specificity that hosts it. Implicit in the readings of each artist/architect is the creation of a programme/function and the creation of (at least) an activity/action interacting with the local community to seek a real engagement.

The aim is to favour a transforming spatial experience in which the artistic piece/intervention may foster the relationship of the container/device with its context and the neighbouring community while offering a glimpse of other spatial realities.

In that sense, architects/artists were selected according to an expanded disciplinary understanding imbued with different methodological and spatial approaches and different and multiple visions of what it means to create architecture today.

From site-specific research projects to self-built immersive architectures, from politically subversive strategies to readymade critical proposals on contemporary reality, the Biennial’s Architecture programme represents a vision of the diversity that characterizes the practice of the discipline today. All the proposals share the notion of working with the concept of limit, that which divides and builds the inside/outside and marks the disciplinary transformation that this curatorial exercise seeks to map.

Working under the general theme Import/Export and conditioned to create using only a twenty-foot container in a direct relationship with the specific spatial context, the artists/architects have dealt with issues as unavoidable as transportation, dislocation, standardization, consumerism and waste.

Dates: May 11 – July 27, 2019

Promoter: Câmara Municipal da Maia – Pelouro da Cultura

Chief Curator: Andreia Garcia

Co-curators: Diogo Aguiar, Javier Peña Ibáñez, Luís Albuquerque Pinho, Luís Pinto Nunes, Sara Orsi, Vera Sacchetti

General Coordination: Andreia Garcia Architectural Affairs

Participants in the Architecture disciplinary axis: TAKK, Fernando Abellanas, Popticum y Space Transcribers

Support: Acción Cultural Española AC/E

OPEN CALLS Concéntrico 06: International Festival of Architecture and Design LINK