School of Arts opened the SAAL Neon exhibition yesterday, October 25, by artist Ângela Ferreira. Curated by Nuno Crespo, Director of School of Arts, the exhibition includes a constellation of works alluding to SAAL and a sculpture.
SAAL Neon is an ongoing investigation based on the state housing construction program, SAAL (Serviço de Apoio Ambulatório Local), developed in Portugal after the Revolution of April 25, 1974, to meet the housing needs of disadvantaged populations.
The exhibition, on show until February 5, 2024, focuses on the participatory process through which the inhabitants actively contributed to the construction of their own homes, thus celebrating the possibility of a more humane and collaborative society. It encompasses an artistic hybridity, which the artist has already become accustomed to in her work, combining photography, drawing, film, collage, video performance, installation and sculpture.
On the occasion, a lumpen sculpture was also unveiled on the façade of the Edifício das Artes. The sculpture animates an image left over from a movie, which shows the transportation of a bucket of cement between characters. The human and collaborative aspect of building a new society is celebrated here.
In the year that marks 49 years since April 25, SAAL Neon is an artistic work that seeks to have a social and political slant, inviting the community in general to attend and contribute to the debate on these social issues.
Ângela Ferreira's work revolves around the impact of colonialism and post-colonialism on contemporary society. In 2007, the artist was invited to represent Portugal at the Venice Biennale in Italy. She has also participated in the Istanbul Biennial (1999), Turkey; the São Paulo Biennial (2008), Brazil; and the Gothenburg Biennial (2015), Sweden. In 2015, he won the Novo Branco Photo Prize, Lisbon, Portugal.
The inauguration was attended by the artist, Ângela Ferreira, the Curator and Director of the School of Arts, Nuno Crespo, the Rector of the Portuguese Catholic University, Isabel Capeloa Gil, and the Pro-Rector of the Porto Regional Center of the Portuguese Catholic University, Isabel Braga da Cruz, among other personalities, the President of the Serralves Board of Directors, Ana Pinho, and the Director of the Serralves Museum, Philippe Vergne.