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Forty Years

Amidst the economical and finantial crisis that prevails in Portugal and Europe (and has a profound effect on Ar.Co’s life), the executive board decides to commemorate the 40th anniversary with occasional initiatives, organically connected to the school’s identity. The departments and the board together conceive of a program of events related to the idea of practice (what does Ar.Co do / what has Ar.Co done?). With the generous and enthusiastic support of film directors João Dias and the team Felipa Reis/João Miller Guerra, Ar.Co “orders” two short films about the school (Amândio Coroado and Maria Antónia Oliveira are consultants and the Almada City Council finances the project, whose senak preview takes place at the Auditório Fernando Lopes Graça, Almada). In collaboration with Culturgest, the school promotes a conference cycle called “Science of Images/Images of Science”, to take place throughout the year of 2013 (March to December, at Culturgest’s headquarters in Lisbon). For the event’s press release Manuel Castro Caldas writes: “There is really nothing strange in the fact that scientific discourse, in this specific case, may be of interest to an art school. It all boils down to satisfying the thirst of all those that seek what is vital beyond what is current. If a mental object were not a body composed of the infinite variability from which it is literally extracted, how could it strike us as powerful or beautiful?  This conquest is of course not achieved with the same tools, in the case of science and in the case of art. But doing it implies the sharing of the same soul, the exposure to the same force: we call this soul brain, we call this force brain.” The conference program starts with Patrícia Beldade  (“Gato por lebre: natural stories of wile”) and continues with Rui Costa (“Brain, Action and Perception – Creation of individual repertoires”), Nuno C. Santos (“Other Lands in the Universe”), Alexandre Castro Caldas (“Neurobiology of the emotions”), António Coutinho (“Schools and Individuals: Lamarck vs Darwin”) and Thiago Carvalho (“The skeleton of an idea: form in 19th Century biological thought”). The Library/Documentation Centre, in its turn, organizes a documentary exhibition to promote its collections. The presentation “Ar.Co’s Library” takes place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Arts Library, between the 6th of May and the 30th of June. The Ordem dos Arquitectos in Lisbon welcomes between the 9th and the 16th of May the contributions of Irene Bonacchi and João Reis, students from the Cinema/Movement Image department, to “Projection – Manifesto Building”, a project/challenge set up by Artéria and by the Associação Renovar a Mouraria. A group of students from the Drawing/Painting department participate (from July 6 to 30) in a special “closing of the school year” exercise/residence, with public exhibition, in a collaborative effort of Ar.Co and Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa. With support from Balaclava Noir and Bazar do Vídeo, the school also collaborates with the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, setting up one day of free public workshops at the museum (June 22). The training actions include exercises/performances specially conceived for the purpose by artists Ana Jotta (with Marcelo Costa), António Poppe and Miguel Branco (with Tiago Barbosa). The more institutional event in the commorations is the exhibition “Abecedário – 40 years of Ar.Co”, that opens on the 18th of September at MNAC – Museu do Chiado, curated by Paulo Henriques (the museum’s director) assisted by Manuel Costa Cabral and Manuel Castro Caldas. The selection of the works and authors is loosely related to some of the topics that, because of their relevance for the school’s development, correspond to entries on the text “Abecedário” (A to Z) in the exhibition’s accompanying publication. In collaboration with the Tereza Seabra Gallery in Lisbon, Ar.Co’s Jewellery department organizes the presentation “40 jewels”, displaying 40 important works by artists/jewellers who have finished their Basic Studies Program and/or their Full Studies Program at Ar.Co’s Jewellery department between 1978 and 2013.

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    João Dias. Movie Still from "Time Improved", 2013.

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    Exhibition "Ar.Co's Library". Biblioteca de Artes da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, May-June 2013.

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    Felipa Reis and João Miller Guerra. Movie still from "The Indispensable Training of Vagueness", 2013.

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    View of the installation "Projeção - Edificio Manifesto" at the Ordem dos Arquitectos, 2013.

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    Workshop-performance by Miguel Branco, Tiago Barbosa and students, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, June 2013.

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    "Science of Images/Images of Science". Ar.Co conference cycle at Culturgest, Lisbon, 2013. Conference by António Coutinho.

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    Exhibition "Abecedário", MNAC-Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, September 2013.

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    Workshop/residence Ar.Co at Carpe Diem, Lisbon, July 2013.