October 27, 2014 - Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art - The SAAL Process and The Otolith Group
October 27, 2014

The SAAL Process and The Otolith Group

Residents assembly meeting, Pavilhão dos Desportos, Porto, 5 April 1975. Photo courtesy Alexandre Alves Costa.

The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation 1974–1976
31 October 2014–1 February 2015

The Otolith Group
31 October 2014–11 January 2015

Opening: 31 October

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Rua D. João de Castro, 210
4150-417 Porto

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The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation 1974–1976
The SAAL Process will be the first major exhibition on SAAL (Local Ambulatory Support Service), an architectural and political project created just months after the April 1974 Revolution in Portugal. The mutual involvement of architects and underprivileged populations afflicted by critical housing needs defined one of the most compelling projects in European architecture. Far beyond a new perception of social housing, SAAL brought about a fruitful debate on the social responsibility of architectural practice and enhanced the international recognition of Portuguese architects, including Álvaro Siza Vieira, Fernando Távora, Manuel Vicente, Artur Rosa and Gonçalo Byrne. Architectural plans and models, archival photographs, sound recordings and films document ten exemplary SAAL projects. Photographic commissions by photographers André Cepeda, José Pedro Cortes and Daniel Malhão and an environmental installation conceived by Ângela Ferreira for the exhibition draw on the collective and social memory of SAAL. The long-term legacy of this intense short-lived collective experience will be discussed in a series of panel discussions, film screenings and guided tours.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by architectural historian José António Bandeirinha; architect Alexandre Alves Costa; Pedro Gadanho, Curator at the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, New York; architect Vittorio Gregotti and exhibition curator Delfim Sardo.

Curated by Delfim Sardo, The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation 1974-1976 is organized by Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, Portugal in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, where it will be on view from May to September 2015.

The Otolith Group
This first exhibition of The Otolith Group in Portugal will feature the trilogy of films on the politics and aesthetics of water in which they explore the relation between ecology, representation and politics. The Radiant (2012) considers the aftermath of March 11, 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake triggered a tsunami that caused the partial meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan. I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another (2012) is a poetic and poignant work about the renowned Lebanese-Greek poet, painter and philosopher Etel Adnan. Hydra Decapita (2010) delves into themes of hydropolitics and hydroaesthetics.

The exhibition will also include the screening of The Otolith Group’s recent work In the Year of the Quiet Sun (2013), which configures moments from the grand project of mid-20th-century Pan-Africanism, envisaged as the total liberation of the African continent from European empires.

The Otolith Group is a collective duo founded in 2002 by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun. Integrating film, video, writing, workshops, exhibitions, publications and public programs, their work explores the moving image, the archive, the sonic and the aural within the exhibition context. Centered on close readings of the role of the image in contemporary society, their work also explores speculative futures and science fictions.

A programme of tours, talks and screenings accompanies the exhibitions.


Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art presents The SAAL Process and The Otolith Group
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
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