Just as the famed Portuguese writer and poet Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935) was inspired by his beloved city of Lisbon, artists and writers continue to be influenced by the ongoing transformation of urban environments and street life. To showcase the evolution of this influence, three visionary contemporary Portuguese artists are given the opportunity to honor the literary arts in their own journey of inspiration.
Manuela Pimentel pays tribute to the rich tradition of Portugal’s Azulejo (painted, tin-glazed tile work) by creating her own—not from ceramics, but from layers of paper, posters, and messages coated with resin. She has said her work is “based on the stories that I have created from that which I see on the walls in the street or, in other words, that which the street passes onto me.” The stories she finds are the phrases, stencils, and drawings she INSTALLATIONS reconstructs on walls and canvas. For the festival, Pimentel has created the installation Se eu pudesse trincar a terra toda (“If I could sink my teeth into the whole earth”). She has also used her technique to build a “poetry box” where audiences can listen to recordings of writings from the Iberian literary sphere read aloud in Portuguese and English.