Tension and Freedom

On 18 June 2015, the exhibition Tension and Freedom opened at the CAM, curated by Isabel Carlos and bringing together works from the collections of the CAM, the MACBA and ‘La Caixa’ Foundation. While the CAM is closed, we invite you to revisit, every month, an exhibition from the past.
17 jun 2021

Curated by then CAM director, Isabel Carlos, Tension and Freedom opened in June 2015, bringing together works from three major institutions: the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s CAM, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona and ‘La Caixa’ Foundation. Based on the political history of Portugal and Spain during the 20th century, a period marked by dictatorial regimes and wars, the exhibition developed around three main themes: the socio-political and revolutionary sphere; issues of race, gender, sexuality and the consequent presence of the body; and the formal and physical tension within an exploration and destabilisation of modernism.


Ana Hatherly, 'As Ruas de Lisboa', 1977. Inv. 91P748
Ângela Ferreira, 'For Mozambique [Model n.º 3 for propaganda stand, screen and loudspeacker platform celebrating a post-independence Utopia]', 2008. Inv. 09E1607


With more than fifty works, the exhibition did not limit itself to showing only Portuguese and Spanish artists, seeking this dichotomy of ‘tension and freedom’ within the broader scope of western art of the second half of the century. The artists included were: Ana Hatherly, Ângela Ferreira, Antoni Muntadas, Asier Mendizabal, Bruce Nauman, Damián Ortega, Eric Baudelaire, Gabriel Abrantes, Jeff Wall, João Abel Manta, Luísa Cunha, Martin Kippenberger, Mike Kelley, Miralda, Miroslaw Balka, Nuno Nunes-Ferreira, Pepe Espaliú, Ramon Guillén-Balmes, Richard Hamilton, Roni Horn, Samuel Beckett and Vasco Araújo.


Nuno Nunes-Ferreira, 'Propaganda', 2014. Inv. 14E1773


Among the works from the CAM Collection shown in the exhibition were the series Ruas de Lisboa [Streets of Lisbon] and the film Revolução [Revolution] by Ana Hatherly, the installation For Mozambique by Ângela Ferreira, the film Olympia 1 & 2 by Gabriel Abrante, various drawings by João Abel Manta, the sound installation Senhora! by Luísa Cunha, Propaganda by Nuno Nunes-Ferreira, two photographs by Richard Hamilton and the film Mulheres d’Apolo [Apollo’s Women] by Vasco Araújo.

The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated booklet with a selection of works from the three collections, and a text by Isabel Carlos.

História das Coleções

On the digital catalogue you can explore the 1343 ar exhibition held by the Foundation between 1957 and 2016.

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