Archive for October, 2008

The Lisbon Contemporary Art Fair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Lisbon Contemporary Art Fair The 8th edition of Lisbon’s Contemporary Art Fair will take place between the 19th and 24th of November in the FIL building located in the Parque das Nações district.

Around 70 galleries participate in the event (45 from Portugal, 25 from elsewhere), and there’s a special space for the presentation of ten projects by different artists and galleries.

A number of activities related to the event will happen simultaneously, including debates, a Collectors’ Club, and ARTE KIDS, hoping to attract a diverse group of visitors.

If you’re a fan of modern art and will be in Lisbon on those dates, pass by the fair which is open from 4 to 11PM. If you can’t make it to Lisbon on those days but still would like to admire modern and contemporary art when you’re in town, a visit to the Berardo Museum more than fulfils that need, as it is one of the city’s major cultural attractions.

Lisbon’s Street Art “Museum”

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Graffiti in Lisbon

When you step into Lisbon’s Bairro Alto neighborhood your first impression will be of shock. You’ll be shocked to see every single building covered in graffiti and wonder how one of the city’s most central districts could have been neglected or vandalized that way.

What you and many others see as neglect and urban decay, others see as art. That debate is now open more than ever, with the creation of an open-air “gallery” that the group behind it calls “the world’s first ephemeral museum.”

That group named it just that — “The Ephemeral Museum” — and launched it in July along with much-discussed controversy around it (even earning a mention in The New York Times). Each work of “art” is numbered and labelled with the details of the artist and the method used, and a map and audio guide previously downloaded onto an MP3 player take you through the around three dozen “works” down the neighborhood’s cobbled streets.

The idea is to inform or provide a new perspective of graffiti by showing the creative energy of the Portuguese and international artists behind those works. But even with Bairro Alto being Lisbon’s counter-culture center, the area’s residents and business owners are determined to clean it up and the city’s mayor has scheduled a clean-up to start this month.

The group behind the “museum” insists that its goal is not to encourage graffiti, but to stress the quality of certain works so that they won’t be covered over by posters or tags (and maybe even the scheduled clean-up?)…

You’ll be able to form your own opinion on the controversy when you visit Lisbon, and if you’d like to take a tour of this “street art museum” consult its website before you go:

For examples of Lisbon’s graffiti, see GoLisbon’s Street Art(?) photo gallery.

Lisbon in Fashion

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Lisbon Fashion Week
Starting this Thursday, October 9th, the best of Lisbon fashion will be presented down the runway in Cascais’ citadel. It’s the 31st Lisbon Fashion Week, showing Portugal’s designers’ Spring-Summer collections for 2009 until October 12th.

This is a by-invitation-only event, so even if you’re in Lisbon this week, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll make it there, although you can always see some of the highlights later on Fashion TV. So what to do if you’re interested in fashion and want to see some of Lisbon’s creations?

The epicenter of Lisbon fashion is the Chiado district, extending into Bairro Alto next door. You may visit the boutiques of Ana Salazar and Fatima Lopes, the two most international Portuguese designers, or check out the new talent receiving all the latest buzz.

A name you should not miss is Storytailors, a team of two designers that opened up their space in Chiado that was described by the New York Times as “certainly the most brilliantly strange new store to set up in Lisbon.” Their inspirations are fairytales and fantastic stories, giving their creations a very original look that has even caught the attention of the fashion chameleon Madonna.

Also in Chiado is the Alves/Golçalves boutique, with both men’s and womenswear known for their classic-chic looks, while up the hill in the same neighborhood is the shop of Jose Antonio Tenente, who although based in Cascais has his shop in Lisbon.

Obviously these are not the only names in Lisbon fashion, but they’re the ones you should not miss. Other designers to investigate include Aleksandar Protich (born in Belgrade but Lisbon-based), Dino Alves, and Miguel Vieira.

The World Shown at the Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

DocLisboa, Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival

And the last film festival of the year is… DocLisboa – The International Documentary Film Festival. Closing out the season of film festivals in Lisbon, the 6th edition of DocLisboa will take place from the 16th to the 26th of October at São Jorge Cinema, Cinema Londres, and Culturgest. A total of 150 films will be screened at those three spaces, showing the realities of different parts of the world and opening up discussion about current topics.

There will be awards for the best long documentary film, best short documentary film, and a prize to the director with the best first documentary film, an incentive to continue going forward with a genre that has captured more audiences every year.

Some of the films to be shown have already been awarded major prizes, such as “Entre Les Murs”, by Laurent Cantet and Steve McQueen’s “Hunger” at the Cannes Film Festival.

Each screening at DocLisboa will cost €3.50 and you may check the entire line up at the official website

Lisbon To Be Flooded With Light

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Lisbon at night

Lisbon’s streets and monuments are floodlit every night in a golden yellow tone, but next month it will be bathed in a number of other colors. It’s part of the Luzboa festival, an event that takes place every two years, when light and public art turn Lisbon into an open gallery of urban light design and contemporary art.

This year a giant harp with laser beams as strings will be placed in Comercio Square from November 8th to January 11th, and will certainly provide some extra magic during the holiday season. Sounds and rhythms will be created using hands or objects, mixing visual art with sound.

Other displays will be seen in the neighborhoods of Alfama, Baixa, and Bica, for a total of 40 different examples of festive lights by artists from Portugal and other European countries.

This street project invites people to go out at night and look at their city literally under a different light, and admire works of art that may only be properly appreciated outside and at night. Other works that don’t necessarily need that setting will be exhibited in the Berardo Museum.

The environmentally friendly LED lights will be turned on at dusk and switched off at midnight, with some extra hours on weekends and national holidays.

Lisbon’s Fado Museum Reopens

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Lisbon’s Fado Museum, Lisbon's Fado Museum dedicated to Portugal’s Fado music and now a decade old, reopens today after being closed for renovation for a few months.

Photographs of prominent Fado singers greet visitors through the museum’s three floors, while also on display for the first time in the renovated space are two works related to Fado by Jose Malhoa and Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (two of Portugal’s top 19th century artists).

An audio guide available in four languages explains the collection and allows you to select the Fados you want to hear. In addition to that you may also consult images, recordings, biographies, and musical programs from the past, a multimedia service now expanded in the museum.

Even if you’ve never heard of Fado, or even heard one single Fado song, visiting this museum will give you an insight into Lisbon’s cultural heritage and its increasingly international music. Although Amalia Rodrigues was the first singer to take Fado outside of Portugal’s borders in the 20th century, new performers are achieving unprecedented success on the World Music stage around Europe and elsewhere. Mariza, Misia, Ana Moura, and Mafalda Arnauth are just some of the names being placed under the spotlight, and Lisbon’s Fado Museum will explain the story behind their sound.

If you’re curious about Fado, visit GoLisbon’s Fado section, where you can see a few videos of Fado performances, including Mariza’s appearance on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman in the United States.

The Best of French Cinema Arrives in Portugal

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Lisbon's French Film Festival

Just when you thought we couldn’t possibly tell you about another film festival coming to Lisbon (GoLisbon has told you about the Digital Film Festival, the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the Horror Film Festival), here comes another one celebrating French cinema! It starts tomorrow, October 2nd, and will screen the best of the latest French films until the 12th in Lisbon, and until the 2nd of November in other Portuguese cities (in Coimbra from the 13th to 18th of October, Porto from the 21st to the 26th, and Faro from the 29th of October to the 2nd of November).

This is a non-competitive showing of films produced (or co-produced in France), and will include 25 premieres in the 45 features screened. They’re shown in French with Portuguese subtitles at São Jorge Cinema in Avenida da Liberdade and at Cinemateca, the city’s film museum not too far away.
A number of France’s film stars will come to Lisbon for the event, which for nine years has drawn thousands to see the original stories created in the land of Méliès.