Um Elefante no Palácio de Cristal
The programme Um Elefante no Palácio de Cristal is based on an invitation made by the Galeria Municipal do Porto to three curators and an artistic collective for development of a public programme about the Primeira Exposição Colonial Portuguesa, held in 1934 in the Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal - whose mascot was the elephant, which at the time was materialised in porcelain souvenirs and a majestic sculpture placed on top of the Palácio de Cristal.
Unearthing historical visions and vestiges, this programmatic axis proposes to revisit the event and expose its implications for the contemporary era, through three sub-themes:
Ética do Olhar e da Representação raises questions about visual literacy, focusing on the problem of 'who looks at who', 'where do they look from' and 'how do they look', commencing with the existing visual records of the First Portuguese Colonial Exhibition to move towards a critical reflection orientated via contemporary perspectives.
Colonialismo, Capitalismo e Religião evokes the relationship between political, economic and ideological power, exploring themes such as material and production relations, colonial mining policy, slavery, forced labour and the Statute of Indigenous People.
Encenação do Império Colonial conducts a historical-political analysis of this and other colonial exhibitions and their reflections in current memory and the urban space.
A programme of sessions is proposed within each sub-theme for the general public and schools, which includes debates, film screenings, workshops and courses, guided by researchers and artists.
The curatorship is by Alexandra Balona, Melissa Rodrigues and Nuno Coelho and has the participation of InterStruct Collective.