October 28, 2017 - MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology - Grada Kilomba: Secrets to Tell
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October 28, 2017

MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

© Esra Rotthoff. Courtesy of Maxim Gorki Theatre.

Grada Kilomba
Secrets to Tell
October 27, 2017–February 5, 2018

MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
Av. Brasília
1300-598 Lisbon
Portugal

www.maat.pt

Grada Kilomba
Secrets to Tell
October 27, 2017–February 5, 2018

MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
Av. Brasília
1300-598 Lisbon
Portugal

www.maat.pt

MAAT’s first year celebration
MAAT celebrated its first anniversary with an Open Day that allowed an extended audience to visit its autumn exhibitions. The event was attended by more than 12,000 people, who participated in visits, workshops and talks specially programmed for this day.

Since it opened on October 5, 2016, MAAT has welcomed over half a million visitors. In its first year, MAAT has offered the public an intense programme of 23 exhibitions—both individual and collective, national and international, as well as major site-specific installations at its Oval Gallery and exhibitions drawing from the EDP Foundation Art Collection of Portuguese contemporary art. 

With MAAT’s new building achieving immediate international recognition amongst a growing interest in Lisbon’s art scene, and after having reached “a number of visitors which exceeded all our expectations,” museum director Pedro Gadanho stressed the museum’s challenge for the coming years in "motivating a wider public to come back for the content on offer.”

The fall programme at MAAT continues with Grada Kilomba
Showing her work in Portugal for the first time, Grada Kilomba presents Secrets to Tell, the first exhibition featured in the Project Room programme. Inspired by the video installation The Desire Project—an artwork especially created for the 32nd São Paulo Biennale (2016), and one of the latest acquisitions for the EDP Foundation Art Collection, which now has its premiére in Europe, the new installation gathers several existing artworks in a new configuration.

Grada Kilomba is a Berlin-based writer, scholar and interdisciplinary artist. Born in Lisbon, she has roots in São Tomé e Príncipe and Angola. Her work addresses issues of both gender and race and notions of trauma and memory, in the context of current debates on colonialism and post-colonialism. Her research delves into the ambiguous relationship between memory and forgetting, and the collective memory and identity of Africans and of their diasporas. Evoking African oral traditions and their power to carry on the spoken word, the artist’s work gives voice to silenced narratives, thus rewriting and retelling a history that has been suppressed or disregarded. Using and combining different mediums, Kilomba explores unconventional, experimental and interdisciplinary artistic practices.
Adapted to MAAT’s Project Room, the new installation of The Desire Project is accompanied by a video of a staged reading of Kilomba’s book Plantation Memories, published in 2008, and by Kosmos2, Labor #10: Video Installation, one of a series of debates the artist has been hosting at the Maxim Gorki Theatre, in Berlin.

New season started with video-art show Tension & Conflit
Tension & Conflict—Video Art after 2008 focusses on an exceptional selection of artistic representations which, with unusual eloquence, have resorted to video and the moving image as a means of probing into the impact and effects of the 2008 global financial crisis. 

Ten years ago, the world endured the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression of 1929. The conflict and instability that ensued was often at the core of cultural discussions, and has led to increasing debates around the politicization of art. Over this period, video has also become an ever-more indispensable resource for art to offer us a critical expression of the tensions and disquiet permeating our society today. After a period of experimentation starting in the 1960s, the ability of this medium to create and disseminate images, voices and stories has made it a crucial tool for contemporary artists to record the socioeconomic impact of everyday events. 

The second international group show at MAAT’s new galleries gathers works by 22 artists from the United States to Latin America, to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Videos, films and installations create a variety of filmic settings, offering personal views on the outcomes of the 2008 great recession, the associated political turmoil and the less visible social consequences of those events. Making use of memories, demonstrations and daily news, but also fictions, performances and varied genres, the artists in the show refuse passivity and make us read recent history—and the changes taking place in the present—in often unexpected ways. Includes works by Patrícia Almeida, Halil Altindere, Marilá Dardot, Bofa da Cara, Burak Delier, Melanie Gilligan, Lola Gonzàlez, Hiwa K, Silvia Kolbowski, Nikolaj Bendix, Skyum Larsen, Marc Larré, Jorge Macchi, Paulo Mendes, Mario Pfeifer, Francisco Queirós, Anatoly Shuravlev, Federico Solmi, Pilvi Takala, Maria Trabulo, Dragana Zarevac, Yorgos Zois.

New commission by Bill Fontana and other shows on view
MAAT's Oval Gallery currently hosts its third site-specific, large scale commission: Shadow Soundings, by the celebrated sound artist Bill Fontana. Following projects at the Tate Modern and SFMoMA, Shadow Soundings is an immersive sound and video installation that creates a spatial and musical composition with live and recorded sounds of the nearby iconic 25 de Abril Bridge. Using seven projections and exquisite sound technology provided by San Francisco-based MeyerSound, the installation mixes live streaming and studio-treated recordings, offering a new perception and unusual views of bridge, moving vehicles, and the river Tagus. As Fontana explains, the title Shadow Soundings emerged from the “moving shadows that produce the iconic 'singing' sound of the bridge.” 

Other exhibition inaugurated during MAAT’s anniversary included Quote/Unquote – Between Appropriation and Dialogue, a new curatorial perspective on the EDP Foundation art collection; and a new edition of the international partnership Artists’ Film International, the multi-institutional cooperation started by the Whitechapel Gallery, which this year explores the theme of “Collaboration.”

In November, MAAT will also welcome US-based Portuguese artist José Carlos Teixeira, with new works gathered under the title of On Exile. Directly from the Whitechapel Gallery, in London, comes Electronic Superhighway—an exciting exhibition focused on how computers and the internet have impacted the art scene since the sixties. Finally, Ana Jotta, awarded with the EDP Foundation Grand Prize in 2013, presents Bonus, an exhibition installed in a space that is deliberately un-museum-like—on one of the busiest shopping streets in Belém, Rua do Embaixador—where the artist shows a selection of her recent and undiscovered works, seeking to engage with the location’s special architectural traits.

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