23.10 / 13.11.2020 / 27.05.2021
Associação de Amigos da Praça dos Anjos
Mariana Morais, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Catarina Simão
Like any other year, 2020 has been rather unusual. Amid a multitude of tragic events, we are experiencing a veritable epidemic of fallen statues. Not that this is any kind of solution to the economic crisis: it is not the monetary value of the building material that makes them fall, but their symbolic value – or unbearable weight! Decolonisation appears to have reached the bronze, at last.
Or perhaps this is not the case in Portugal. Listening to speeches by the country’s political representatives, they seem to have missed the discussions that have been going on around the world.
Associação de Amigos da Praça do Anjo (AAPA), which emerged at the foot of an empty pedestal, enjoys discussing the virtues of gravity. In the end, who falls and who pushes? We considered it urgent to organise a series of talks about the value and significance of public statues.
At the two sessions held this year, we discussed the representation of the female body and the removal of statues from the public space in the company of artists Mariana Morais and Kiluanji Kia Henda.
In 2021, we organised the last session with artist Catarina Simão, focusing on her practise relating african art.
Mariana Morais presented her project Headless Women and Other Events: Tours for the Public Art in Porto, which explores the brainless sculptures that inhabit our city, questioning not only their presence but also the role of the women that they are supposed to represent. Headless characters?
Kiluanji Kia Henda addressed the removal of statues from the public space – that long-standing, global phenomenon that challenges the old totems of the ancient powers – through his artistic practice.
Catarina Simão commented excerpts of the film "Statues also die" (1953) and talked about her artistic practise, that has been focused on the construction of a new independent country, Mozambique.