Amarante marks centenary of Agustina Bessa-Luís with three exhibitions

24 November, 2022

On the day of Agustina Bessa-Luís' 100th birthday, 15 October, the Municipality of Amarante - the writer's birthplace - inaugurated three exhibitions: "Feminino, uma história ficcionada" and "a super-menina: espassos, letrase livros", at the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Municipal Museum; and "O rosto do pensamento" at the Albano Sardoeira Municipal Library - Vila Meã Pole.

"Feminino, uma história ficcionada" is based on the words of Agustina Bessa-Luís in her book "Dicionário imperfeito", which reads: "A mulher é uma criadora por natureza. A mulher é".

"Travelling through Agustina's universe is to feel the woman, in her coherences and incoherences, as if we were looking at ourselves in the mirror. These are not concepts of feminism, they are states of the Human soul in which, in their differences, we see ourselves. This exhibition is intended to provoke an interpellative reaction, for everyone to feel and discover," explains Rosário Machado, director of Amarante's Culture Department.

“Feminino, uma história ficcionada” compiles some of the models of representation of women and their creative expression in the MMASC collection. Works by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, António Carneiro, Acácio Lino, Teixeira de Pascoaes, Manuel Monterroso and Eduardo Teixeira Pinto, but also others that relate directly to Agustina's words, such as Júlio Pomar, Sarah Affonso, Barata Feyo, Lagoa Henriques, Clara Menéres, Paula Rego and Vieira da Silva. Agustina Bessa-Luís wrote the books "As Meninas" and "Longos dias têm cem anos" about Paula Rego and Vieira da Silva, respectively. In "Feminino, uma história ficcionada", a drawing by Maria Antónia Siza Vieira will also be exhibited for the first time.

To visit until 28 May 2023.

Created by Os Espacialistas, in the words of Gonçalo M. Tavares, the exhibition "a super-menina: espassos, letras e livros" is dedicated to the super-menina that was Agustina Bessa-Luís. In this exhibition, Os Espacialistas - a laboratory project for theoretical and practical research into the links between Art, Architecture and Education - transform the cloister of the Convento de São Gonçalo into a child's body and playground. Each of the wings is a notebook page written by a spatialist photographic narrative and a set of 100 spatialised words by Gonçalo M. Tavares. A space overpopulated with images and objects like the writer's manuscripts.

The artistic assemblages of walls, ceilings and floors of an objectual nature, the Spatialist images produced from Es/passos, letters of different sizes, types and materials, books and many other objects from the Spatialist kit and traditional agricultural practices are Agustina's memorial and imaginary reverberations.

All the installations are dialogues between traditional children's games, social and family conflicts and the (perverse) human agricultural and animal activities present in Agustina Bessa-Luís' books and memoirs.

To visit until 12 February 2023.

At the Albano Sardoeira Municipal Library - Vila Meã Pole, Agostinho Santos is exhibiting "O rosto do pensamento", curated by Aida Guerra, a set of 18 unpublished drawings about the universe and characters of Agustina, through which the artist evokes and pays homage to Agustina Bessa-Luís. "These simple drawings are simply meant to embrace or simply give a kiss to an important figure in national culture, who is pleasantly linked to my early professional days, both as a journalist and as an artist. Agustina is among us and 'The Face of Thought' is a kind of revival of her memory and a tribute to one of the great figures of our culture," explains Agostinho Santos.

To visit until 24 January 2023.

Three exhibitions as part of the programme celebrating the centenary of Agustina Bessa-Luís, which you can see here.

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