Commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the France Delegation

25 aug 2015

On 15th September, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation France Delegation officially celebrates the 50th anniversary of its presence in Paris. At the ceremony due to be attended by the President of Paris Council, Anne Hidalgo, a study will be presented by Rui Ramos, professor at the Portuguese Institute of Social Sciences, invited by the Foundation to reflect on half a century of its activities in Paris. The same day shall also see the inauguration of the exhibition Au sud d’aujourd’hui. Art contemporain portugais [sans le Portugal]. This exhibition, curated by Miguel von Hafe Perez, seeks to show “a segment of contemporaneousness that circumstantially overlaps with Portuguese artists”, and not to chart a particular national reality. Thus, the set of Portuguese artists presenting their work here have “one foot in the country” (even while in some cases this position is metaphorical as they are resident elsewhere) and “the head is looking to the world”, the curator explained. This exhibition includes works by Ana Santos, André Cepeda, Arlindo Silva, Carla Filipe, Carlos Bunga, Daniel Barroca, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Mauro Cerqueira, Sónia Almeida and Von Calhau! and is on display until 13th December.

The France Delegation’s 50th anniversary commemorations extend into 2016 and culminating in the exhibition dedicated to the work of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, hosted by the Grand Palais as from April with the gallery taken over this year by a major exhibition of works by Velasquez. The Amadeo exhibition in Paris represents an unprecedented opportunity to raise the public profile of work done by “probably the most important of all Portuguese modern artists”, in the words of the curator Helena de Freitas.

As part of these fiftieth anniversary commemorations, an exhibition of recent works by Julião Sarmento will take place between January and April 2016, curated by Ami Barak at the Foundation’s Delegation and Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine will host the exhibition Les universalistes between April and August. Architecture portugaise 1965-2015, with curatorship by Nuno Grande, highlights the “the universalist vocation of recent generations of Portuguese architects, always in dialogue with the world”. The list of architects featured in this exhibition contains figures such as Fernando Távora, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Pancho Guedes, the Aires Mateus brothers, Gonçalo Byrne, Ruy Athouguia and Nuno Teotónio Pereira, among others.

Other features

Also taking place this year, in the Delegation on 21st September, is a debate on Western Armenian, the language of the diaspora considered “at risk” by UNESCO since 2010. On October 21st and 22nd, there is a colloquium on The arts of the Portuguese language, bringing to the delegation academics and artists from different fields, interests and backgrounds to discuss just what might the arts do specifically in Portuguese and how best to affirm this language within the hostile context of globalisation. This colloquium was commissioned by Paulo Filipe Monteiro and draws upon the participation of Dulce Maria Cardoso, Michel Chandeigne, Andreia Pinto-Correia, Ondjaki, Rui Vieira Nery, Maria do Rosário Pedreira, Luísa Sobral and Rui Zink, among others. November 10th sees a conference on the role of innovation as the motor of European competitiveness organised in partnership with the Jacques Delors Institute while on 12th November a Foundations Meeting is held to discuss “Philanthropy in the 21st century: building on the common good” in collaboration with the Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations and Fondation de France.

On 19th November, there is the book launch of three publications reissued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the France Delegation in a partnership with Éditions Gallimard and with editorial coordination by Luísa Braz de Oliveira: Eduardo Lourenço, Une vie écrite, uma seleção de ensaios; Cinq poètes portugais – Eugénio de Andrade, Herberto Helder, Nuno Júdice, Fernando Pessoa, António Ramos Rosa; e Luís de Camões, Les Lusiades, translated by Hyacinthe Garin (1889), edited by André Velter, with a preface by Vasco Graça Moura and an introductory note by Eduardo Lourenço. The re-publication in France of Os Lusíadas also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Poésie collection by editora Gallimard.

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