The “Open Garden” exhibition is a wish to celebrate a date, that of the Foundation of the Republic, rather than subject to a specific theme or objective. But this wish is not the only idea in the background of the exhibition which, anyway, is totally free of any political ideologies that could permeate the day which is being celebrated. Thus the wish becomes a pretext to invite everybody to the Gardens of the Palace of Belém. It should also be stressed that this initiative deeply recognizes the generosity with which we are invited to enter the gardens of this house and to share its unique atmosphere, which brings together the historical, symbolic and cultural dimensions of being Portuguese in these days.
The difficulty in providing this project with a theme or a sense of togetherness was demonstrated by the uphill path in finding a name for it. A more poetic or philosophical epithet would not correspond to idea behind the project. We thus arrived at the choice that better and more simply interprets the gesture which was intended: the opening of the gardens to the public.
This simple proposal is based upon the wish to show – and, in this case, to show again. When in something that is already known an unknown feature (or more) is introduced, a new world is opened up, as in the words of Gaston Bachelard. This is one of the purposes of this exhibition: to provide a renewed look over a known landscape.
Sixteen artists were invited to exhibit – all Portuguese and all with work based on differing conceptual approaches to the idea of sculpture.
Filipa Oliveira, Comissária da Exposição
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