From 14th February to 11th May, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
presents the exhibition 12 Contemporaries Present States. Curated by Suzanne Cotter and Bruno Marchand, the exhibition features work by 12 artists and artist collectives from Portugal whose aesthetic concerns and positions have characterised a field of artistic production over the last decade. Developed through a process of research in Portugal, as well as the UK, Germany and the US, where many artists live and work, the exhibition will reflect on the critical attitudes and urgencies of art in Portugal and within an expanded field of contemporary global realities. Engaging critically with a diverse range of disciplines that encompass painting, sculpture, cinema, music, theatre and performance, the artists in 12 Contemporaries Present States bring forth a multitude of singular positions that nevertheless concur on the formation of a relevant and collective image of contemporaneity now.
In the early 90s the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art organized several group exhibitions that attempted to reflect on the current state of contemporary art: Ten Contemporaries, curated by Alexandre Melo in 1992, and Images for the 1990s, curated by Fernando Pernes in 1993. Ten Contemporaries provided an overview of the work of a generation of artists who were considered to be dominant in the 1980s. Images for the 1990s was seen as a reaction to the new decade, which developed in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid in South Africa and consolidation of the neo-liberal economic model.
In the second decade of the 21st century in which digital communication, globalization and post-colonial realities prevail, artists are faced with new conditions and new motivations. Portuguese artists today are part of a mobile yet locally distinct artistic reality in which history, language, and politics define a broad and common field of investigation and exploration.