Networks, Collaboration and Resistance in/between Portugal and Brazil, 1962–1982

Exhibit curated by Maika Pollack and Rui Torres, with works from the Arquivo Fernando Aguiar and the Coleção Moraes-Barbosa, at the John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. [Images. Links]

The John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, is proud to present for the first time in Hawai’i works from the collections of two major dedicated archives of experimental poetry, the Arquivo Fernando Aguiar in Lisbon and the Coleção Moraes-Barbosa in São Paulo. The exhibition will be on view October 26 – December 10, 2020.

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During the 1960s and 1970s experimental poetry in Brazil and Portugal explicitly resisted police and military power, oppressive governments, and in Portugal, protested colonialism. The approach taken by these groundbreaking poets and the authors and artists they affiliated themselves with—nearly 400 are represented in this exhibition—took the form of some of the most radical experiments ever seen in magazine publishing.

Experimental poetry saw the gesture of writing as a political act that opened a dialogue with the reader, the world, and tradition. The selected publications on view include local groups and movements such as Poesia Experimental, Noigandres and Invenção, process poetry, Código, and Mail-Art. The exhibition offers the opportunity to enter this rich universe of vanguard art, visual, concrete, and process poetry which operated in a transnational setting among poets in Portugal and Brazil that extends to authors and collectives living in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, and Japan. The exhibition emphasizes themes of networks, collaboration, resistance, and appropriation, among others. We hope these imaginative, iconoclastic, and politically subversive publications may inspire artists and writers today.

Curated by Maika Pollack and Rui Torres, the exhibition is based on an original essay by Rui Torre, commissioned by the John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and available in print and open access eBook (click on the cover below to download the book).

A version of this exhibition will be presented at Galerias Municipais, The Municipal Galleries in Lisbon during 2021.

Photographs courtesy of Wayne Kawamoto, John Young Museum of Art

A free bilingual brochure (Portuguese and English) includes a major new essay written by Dr. Rui Torres, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences at University Fernando Pessoa, Portugal,

The exhibition in Honolulu at the John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa is made possible by Pam Lichty and the late Don Lichty; University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Department of Art & Art History and College of Arts, Languages, & Letters; the John Young Foundation; the Cooke Foundation; Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai’i and by the National Endowment for the Arts; and anonymous donors.