Arts and Models of Democracy in Post-Authoritarian Iberian Peninsula

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


Presentation of Paper
“Artistic and Institutional Forms in Post-Revolutionary Portugal: Artistic Agency and the Creation of a New Museum of Modern Art”

After the military coup that overthrew the decades-long dictatorship in Portugal, Portuguese artists welcomed the new political times with excitement, celebrating the Armed Forces Movement with a monumental collective mural in Lisbon in the 10 of June of 1974. In Oporto, in the same day, a group constituted by artists, actors and intellectuals represented the funeral of the old national museum of the city, activating the newly acquired freedom of expression and putting into practice civic empowerment to claim for a ‘living’ museum of modern art. This paper will address the Oporto’s performance and other actions, such as the occupation of a palace in Lisbon by the ACRE group to establish there a museum of modern art, in order to redefine the links between creativity and political intervention in the new democratic context. It will also underline the conformity between the proposal for a new museum and the new political ideals. Portuguese museums appeared in 1974 as decadent and outdated as the dictatorship. The new museum that should be created by the democratic regime corresponded to the aspirations of the artistic community that did not see itself represented in the old National Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon. The claims for a new institution coincided
therefore with the proposal of a new institutional paradigm, based on artistic
democratisation and decentralisation and on recent international experiences.
Period29 Nov 2019
Event typeConference
LocationHuddersfield, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational