– Ana Jotta, Ricardo Valentim

The book MOER is a project by the artists Ana Jotta (Lisbon, 1946) and Ricardo Valentim (Loulé, 1978), produced in conjunction with the exhibition Al Cartio and Constance Ruth Howes from A to C. The exhibition, devised by the artists for the Project Space of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Modern Art Centre, took place between 19 October 2018 and 14 January 2019, showing a selection of works on paper by Al Cartio (Honolulu, 1951) and Constance Ruth Howes (Baltimore, 1947), in which words and seascapes created alternating rhythms along the gallery. The display of the exhibition was a sculptural event in itself.

The book MOER includes correspondence exchanged by the artists, images of their works, many of them subject to interventions by the artists themselves, actions and other materials brought together since 2010, when the artists Ana Jotta and Ricardo Valentim met and started to shape a dialogue between their artistic practices.

MOER is thus a corpus (or atlas) of an intense artistic collaboration, built by two artists from different generations who create an unexpected and very unique territory here, marked by an artistic and personal relationship formed of intimacies, conversations and common interests – such as typography and typographical species – of the crossover of artistic practices and the questioning of the base concepts of their own artistic practice, such as that of author (and authorship), of the curator or of the ‘exhibition’ object and their modes of production and presentation in the museum space. 

The Portuguese word ‘MOER,’ meaning to grind, mill, break or crack, wear down or chew, is formed from the word ‘MOI’, printed on a ‘visiting’ card by Ana Jotta (who appropriates a type specimen from the Tarbé foundry) on which we can see the handwritten letters ‘E’ and ‘R’, added by Ricardo Valentim. As a work, MOER is a book – ‘a well-made book by two friends’ – but it is also a ‘temporary’ exhibition taking place in the space of the now historical editions of the‘Portuguese Culture Series’ of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s publishing plan, designed by Sebastião Rodrigues (Portugal, 1929-1997), a gesture that is also an appropriation of a physical and typographical object and an artistic intervention on historical forms of cultural relations.

Another contributor to MOER was the graphic designer Márcia Novais, who worked from the original design by Sebastião Rodrigues. The programme for the exhibition Al Cartio e Constance Ruth Howes de A a C and the book MOER, as well as editorial coordination of the book, was overseen by Rita Fabiana.

MOER was selected from among 17 Portuguese books in the context of the Portuguese edition of the Book Design Prize 2019, with designer Márcia Novais going on to win the bronze medal for Best Book Design from all over the World 2020, awarded by the German foundation Stiftung Buchkunst, for her design.

Technical information

Ana Jotta, Ricardo Valentim
Portuguese / English
Editorial coordination:
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
624 p.
Updated on 17 may 2022

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