Your body is my body — o teu corpo é o meu corpo
Museu Colecção Berardo
Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa, Portugal
The exhibition your body is my body — o teu corpo é o meu corpo is a selection of around three hundred art and political posters from Portugal and abroad, taken from the collection assembled by Ernesto de Sousa throughout his life, and dating from between 1933 and 1988. They will be on display on level -1 of the Museu Coleção Berardo from 17 April to 27 September 2015. This series of posters, now called the Ernesto de Sousa Poster Collection, has become part of the Berardo Collection, and provides a sweeping overview of the cultural output of the Neo-Avant-Garde in Portugal and across Europe. However, it also represents an imaginary journey, a map of many different routes, and a story of various encounters, through which we can rediscover the personality of Ernesto de Sousa himself.
Ernesto de Sousa (1921–1988) was an artist, critic, curator, filmmaker and cultural agitator. He took a particular interest in posters, studying and exploring the possibilities of this medium, and graphic art in general. As he saw it, the poster is potentially a prime mediator of communication between the individual and society, as he points out in an 1965 essay, dedicated to graphic art: “What characterises the graphic arts currently is that they are a direct vehicle, if not an instrument, for a new synthesis. First and foremost: synthesis of the most diverse lines of progress. The fact that they evolve as a form serving a ‘commercial’ content, in a context dominated by capital investment and profit fever, does not remove them from the most intimate natural inclination, the inclination of a human content of ‘freedom,’ and where the contradiction between the individual and the group has overcome its current acuteness. They are, as such, one of the richest areas for encountering the progress of technocracy, with the most progressive democracy. An encounter delayed by the contradictions of today’s world, but which arguably won’t be prevented from happening. We are the ones who feel a sense of urgency…”
The Ernesto de Sousa Poster Collection is an assortment of affections, and is made up of posters of the artist’s own work, some of them created under his direction, as well as those picked up on his travels or sent to him following encounters with other artists, plus posters by artists who were his close friends, including Alberto Carneiro, Helena Almeida, Wolf Vostell, Robert Filliou, Julião Sarmento, Ângelo de Sousa, and many others. As such, the exhibition your body is my body — o teu corpo é o meu corpo is based on the life of Ernesto de Sousa, and his passions and encounters with those whom he admired, and with whom he felt a spiritual and intellectual affinity. The selection of posters presented here reveals his talents across multiple disciplines, ranging from visual art, film and theatre to politics, and his ability to delve into different fields, which defined his own work.
A catalogue will be published during the exhibition, presenting an extended selection of posters, complimented by a series of documentary images and writings by Ernesto de Sousa, including his 1965 essay “Artes Gráficas, Veículo de Intimidade”. The catalogue will also include a previously unpublished article by José Bártolo, professor and design critic, organiser of the “Portuguese Design Collection” (2015), and by Rui Afonso Santos, art and design historian.