40 years of Acarte: A digital timeline

40 years after the creation of Serviço de Animação, Criação Artística e Educação pela Arte /ACARTE [Service for Animation, Artistic Creation and Education through Art], the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is making available the Digital Timeline - ACARTE 1984-1989.
04 jun 2024

This website is offering everyone, particularly those with research projects, an essential tool for looking in detail at the activities provided by this service during the 1980s.

Developed as part of the study that led to the book ‘Uma Curadoria da Falta: O Serviço ACARTE da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian 1984-1989’ [A Curatorship of Lack: The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s ACARTE Service 1984-1989 ] by Ana Bigotte Vieira (Sistema Solar, 2021), this project aims to publicise the breadth of events and activities the Service developed in various fields, including its prominent role in recent Portuguese contemporary culture.

Inaugurated in 1984, ACARTE was founded by Madalena Perdigão, who would also become its first director until 1989. Its aim was to present an international contemporary programme, making the newly opened CAM ‘not only a museum in the narrow sense of the term, but also a centre of culture,’ bringing to the Foundation emerging names in the performing arts, prioritising experimental creation, and including artistic disciplines usually less valued by artistic institutions in Portugal at the time.

During its 18 years of activity (1984-2002), ACARTE became an essential reference on the Portuguese cultural scene, especially in the field of performing arts, with the creation of the Encontros ACARTE – Novo Teatro/Dança da Europa [ACARTE Encounters – New European Theatre/Dance].

The website now available makes it possible to access the original texts in which ACARTE’s curatorial lines were drawn up in the 1980s. Through handwritten documents, videos, and posters from the time, you can learn about some of the programme activities, which also highlight its mission to foster artistic creation, education through art, and the creation of new audiences.

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