The Kennedy Center

A Journey of Imagination

IBERIAN SUITE: Installation: A Journey of Imagination

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Sunday, March 22, 2015

IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix

Working with such media as cork, paper, audio, and more, three Portuguese artists--Vhils, Manuela Pimentel, and Nuno Vasa--honor the literary arts with installations inspired by urban environments and street life.

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IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix
Installation: A Journey of Imagination

This is a FREE event, no tickets are required.

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.
Alexandre Farto (known as Vhils) is an internationally acclaimed urban artist who uses an array of mediums including cork, wood, paper, explosives, Styrofoam, and metal. Vhils grew up in an area of Lisbon that underwent many changes in the 1980s and 1990s, an evolution which has deeply influenced his work, just as it did for Pessoa a century ago. For the festival, he has created the installation Perspectiva / Perspective, which is a meaningful reflection on one of the most valued pillars upon which our contemporary societies have been founded. Formed by a vast number of sheets of paper that seem to be randomly arranged in suspension, the installation plays on viewers' visual perceptions. When seen from a particular angle, it reveals the word "Freedom" in striking clarity.
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 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.
Nuno Vasa is known for sculptures, paintings, installations, and performances that express his personal reflections on quotidian life and surroundings, human relationships, and the human condition. Vasa's works are completed by spectators and their relationship with the objects, as well as the installations that he creates. Festival attendees can admire a cork cable car produced to transport their imaginations--an homage to beloved Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and the cable car he refers to in his poems.
The installations by Manuela Pimentel and Nuno Vasa are presented in collaboration with Arte Institute with the support of Sofalca.

Watch and Listen

Preview of IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix

IBERIAN SUITE: Se eu Pudesse Trincar a Terra Toda


IBERIAN SUITE: Perspective

IBERIAN SUITE: Festival Highlights