Sunday, December 16, 2018

Tonight  Friday, December 21. 9.30 pm, join us for the presentation of 
"O NATAL DOS 12" by António Júlio Duarte. The projection will be  followed by a Christmas communal supper. Please bring food and drinks.

António Júlio Duarte

Slide Diaporama 1989
Sound Program Borja Montes Caro

A "deser", or table centrepiece, is one of the most remarkable creations in the decorative arts of the 18th century. Present at most banquets, it was the crown jewel of the table setting, structuring the feast itself while remaining throughout the copious rituals of silver service. Among the most notable and famous "desers" are the ones created by Luigi Valadier who designed miniature architectural models, built with precious stones, meticulously detailed and mounted according to classic cannons, imprinting any meal with an ideal of civilisation – much needed among the barbaric imperial taste .
In the late 1980s, while the Iberian Peninsula hoped to join civilised Europe and waited in line for a piece of that E$E$C pie, two young artists (one younger than the other), photographer António Júlio Duarte and chef Jorge Paixão, began an intense collaboration for "Ementa", the weekly food section of the national widespread newspaper Expresso. Jorge Paixão, a man of the Lisbon Movida and a former Hilton chef with a cinema background, sought to expand the regional borders of Portuguese taste. Unburdened by commercial constraints, and with the support of thousands of eager recipe followers, they started experimenting with food and would become the pioneers of Portuguese food styling.

In these regular sessions, over 15 years, António Júlio Duarte staged uncanny Still Lifes using food as material to construct images. This continuous research in perception involved experiments such as hammering chicken to the wall, impaling fish and poultry, dissecting fruits and vegetables… a true challenge to the emotional brain.
In 1989, faithful to the tenet "truth to materials", Paixão invited postmodern architects Manuel Graça Dias and Egas José Vieira to join the collaboration on a Christmas special edition. The idea was to recreate and photograph twelve “traditional” recipes from the twelve EEC countries. The result was a fairly loose interpretation of the culture of the fellow member countries, an opportunity to rethink what Europe was or could be. The Christmas Council potlatch featured a mock turtle soup from the United Kingdom, a christstollen from the Federal Republic of Germany, a Greek stuffed turkey, star fritters from Portugal (a rookie state of the starred alliance), an Irish spiced beef, a cod from the French Provence, a Danish duck and a Spanish sea bream in the oven, a grilled eel from Italy, a Dutch Christmas wreath, a smelly boudin with potatoes and roasted apples from Belgium and, finally, a Christmas trunk made in Luxembourg. These recipes were religiously followed and prepared by thousands of untravelled readers who, unaware of adulterations, took them as trustworthy portraits of a cross-cultural region. Graça Dias and Vieira, like Valadier, staged Paixão's passioned chef-d'oeuvres with the most elegant architecture props, intersecting the raw and the cooked. All this was frozen by António Júlio's deep color cibachrome feast, a work in line with Florence Henri’s Bauhaus photographs.

On Friday 21st, Oporto will try to recreate one of these recipes, the mock turtle soup. The English cheaper version of an exotic delicacy, which originally came with its own bowl and pan, was Andy Warhol's favourite Campbell can for its taste of metal, meat and fish. This Pan-European repast will be accompanied by a diaporama: a projection of the 12 photographs of António Júlio Duarte, comprising the 12 recipes by Jorge Paixão and Vieira and Graça Dias’ 12 "desers”, each image triggering music from the 12 countries (a selection made by nuestro hermano Borja Caro Montes). This presentation is extended to the walls of the bakery Nita, in Rua do Poço dos Negros 127 (Lisbon's historical center), where five of these photos have been on permanent display since the 1990’s.

Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice, 
“Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?”
“No,” said Alice. “I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is.”
“It’s the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,” said the Queen.

Alice in Wonderland   

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tempo Perdido no Porto #4 - Daragh Reeves

Un Borghese Piccolo Piccolo - Daragh Reeves
Video projection on drawing, variable dimensions, 2004, VHS transferred to digital MOV, colour, sound, 122’

According to the Greek legend, the Sphinx was a merciless female creature, half human, half lioness; a guardian of temples that devoured anyone who failed to answer her riddle, until one day Oedipus took the beast's life with the correct answer: HUMAN.
During the winter of 2001, in a skyscraping bar in Tokyo, the artist Daragh Reeves received a tipoff from a friend of a friend about a rare and unmissable Italian film. This would turn out to be the first in a chain of events along a mythical path that would lead to the resurrection of the Sphinx. 
Two years later, now in Milan, Reeves stumbled upon a street vendor offering a single item for sale on his rug, a worn out copy of the now legendary Un Borghese Piccolo Piccolo. Sourcing the last surviving VHS player in Berlin, Reeves watched, laughed and cried at the tragicomic misadventures of public servant Giovanni Vivaldi. But let down by his pidgin Italian, he mailed the tape to England to his Roman grandmother, Mara Russell-Pavier (Nonna) for a full translation.
Back in Amsterdam, returning to his residency at de Ateliers, Reeves telephoned his grandmother to request a strictly impromptu translation and recorded her voice over the phone lines while she watched the film for the first time. Nonna’s narration of the film is an outstanding performance as it unveils the dark plot with great detail and elegant humour at a merciless rate. 
Unwittingly, the artist was only halfway through a trail of cues. During an exhibition installation, while projecting the film in a trance induced by his grandmother’s voice, he started tracing in black paint momentary forms appearing within its scenes. His doodling on top of Vivaldi’s mundane bureaucratic world slowly roused a cine-archeological being. As if rubbing a magic lantern, an unexpected critter began to emerge from the shapes he made: a chin coming from an elbow, a tail from a parking car, a cigar from a dropped ballpoint pen… “a shesepankh" as ancient Egyptians would call it ( “a living image” ). Thus the Sphinx found its way back into existence again – lying on the screen, simultaneously predicting and remembering the film and its own totality from its timeless standpoint.
Oporto has recreated, for the first time on canvas, the original 2004 mural, which will be reunited with the film on Saturday. A movie poster was also developed with the artist which doubles as a screen to summon the sphinx in the comfort of one’s own home.
Oporto’s first screening in 2007, presented The Fountains of New York,  recalling the intrepid daily life of the young artist in a portrait of a city that no longer exists. Un Borghese Piccolo Piccolo could be considered the follow up to this saga as within the film-based doodle, the sphinx retains all the bittersweet struggles of the artist during his Amsterdam period.
A self-fulfilling prophecy. Æ 
Saturday December 8, 10.30pm
This presentation is part of Reeves’ current one month residency “Tempo Perdido no Porto” hosted by Oporto that also includes the show Toucan Watch, on view at Galeria Madragoa
Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá, 42, 2ºF Lisboa

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Jornadas Lúcidas # 2 - Addictive Light

Slides de Cavalete, Ângelo de Sousa
One hundred 35 mm slides, color, 1978-79

Nobody Here, Daniel Lopatin 
Track from the DVD-R - Memory Vague 
color, sound, 2'05'', 2009

Although television has dropped to unprecedented levels of quality, we can all agree that it is impossible to shut or even extinguish the channel. Humans are addicted to the continuous flow of RGB light, regardless its content. A clear sign of this addiction is the recent shift from incandescent light to LED in public and private lighting around the world. Soon the planet will be fully led by Red Green Blue frequencies which, like television, will draw humanity into new levels of dependence and isolation.

In 1979, after winning the first prize at the Venice Biennale, Ângelo de Sousa was invited by the artist Floris M. Neusüss to participate in a traveling art exhibition. The participants were chosen for their conceptual use of photography. Ângelo decided to present an automated sequence of slides whose composition and color was created through the superimposition of Red, Green and Blue filters. According to the artist, the piece "Slides de Cavalete" [Easel Slides] was much like his other geometrical paintings, but instead of paint, it used the same additive light process television does. The contrast between the slideshow and the other pieces in the exhibition could not have been greater. Despite its degree of sophistication the curator was always reluctant to present the diaporama and left it isolated outside the main showroom, most likely for fear of cross-contaminating the black and white photographs with television frequencies.  

In this Oporto special session, Jornadas Lúcidas #2, we will present the infamous piece "Slides de Cavalete", with a newly restored set of slides. This automatic light painting will be projected along the video "Nobody Here", an "earworm" created by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) mashing a youtube sequence from a jurassic videogame (Taito's Laser Grand Prix) and a looped sound clip from Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh. This ever moving rainbow road is here to remind us that TV will continue its image stream regardless of human presence.

Oporto would like to thank:  Miguel Sousa and the Estate of Ângelo de Sousa, Sérgio Mah, Joana Silva and the Conservation Department of Nova University, Lisbon  -  Daniel Lopatin, Eliza Ryan, Nelson Gomes, Software and Warp Records

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jornadas Lúcidas *1A journey devoted to reflective, entoptic, raw and cooked light
1859, Fred Worden

Digital video, colour, silent, 11', 2008

Information, Hollis Frampton

16 mm film, b/w, silent, 4', 1966

In the groundbreaking publication "Metaphors on Vision" Stan Brakhage wonders about which rays pass through the retina still unretained by the mind. It is common knowledge, that film and video reveal only a small part of the light spectrum when bringing a picture to existence. The camera's lens function as a barrier, filtering the necessary light to create an image while dispersing all incomprehensible and, who knows, noxious outbursts of energy.
For an orthodox structuralist filmmaker, as Brakhage, the use of lenses in the making of film is questionable, as all light should arrive pure to the viewer's retina. In the 1960s, while the experimental film crowd was acquiring a taste for raw and uncooked light, in film's industry all manifestations of uncontrolled light, such as lens flares, were still being avoided and seen as camera errors that shed light on a poor cinematography. 

It was only in 1969, that the Hungarian director of photography, László Kovács, allowed, for the first time, against all advice, lens flares to appear in a feature film. During the film Easy Rider the Sun's rays cross the barrier of lenses generating colourful flares, revealing the presence of the glass itself, giving a true sense of reality. 

Twenty years later, John Knoll, while working at the launch of Photoshop, developed a digital Lens Flare plug-in. This artificial lens reflexion, soon became the effect that every science-fiction film needed to reclaim truth. 

In the video “1859”, Fred Worden presents the anatomy of a digital lens flare. The filmmaker dissects a 30 frame instant of light intersecting a lens, unfolding in a series of singular reflections. Each circle of light pulsates independently, echoing a series of events that, occurred in the year 1859: the publishing of Darwin's Origin of Species, the birth of Pierre Curie, Georges Seurat and Conan Doyle, the largest recorded solar storm and the first time solar flares were noted by the amateur astronomer Richard Christopher Carrington. 

For this Oporto session we will screen “1859” together with  "Information",  Hollis Frampton’s earliest surviving film. This short enigmatic piece  features a single lightbulb recorded using multiple exposures. The blaze casts light onto the black screen, moving to a silent score, in a mesmerising rhythm that can only be coded.

"If only the sound of the sun would reach the earth.  
T. Batista

Friday, May 18, 10.30 pm  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Oporto apresenta #48

Standish Lawder
16 mm, color, sound, 16 min, 1972

Two Soups 
Fake Goulash/ Rain Soup
Recipes by Endre Tót, 1974

The  Portuguese proverb  “in April, a thousand waters", predicts that we are facing a month of tempestuous changes. It is not by chance that spring rain is often seen as an omen of change and revolution. In the movie Regen (Rain, 1929), Joris Ivens struggles to capture the essence of rain. During the two years spent filming rainy Amsterdam, he found a natural resistance of the elements to be captured on film. Slowly, Ivens began to draw a parallel between the rain, the wind and the strength of the masses, that is only revealed in times of storm.

"If one controls the weather, one controls the world" is a lapalissade that became tangible when Wilhelm Reich was arrested and died for the invention of a cloudbuster, a machine that could induce rain through the reconditioning of primal energy. Reich’s giant ray-gun contraption appears in Kate Bush and Terry Gilliam's video Cloudbusting ( 1985), charging the sky with its orgone rays. Reich was the first to subdue weather to human will and his cloud nebuliser was soon seen as a real threat to any state in the world. Although his invention was abandoned in rural America, his plans circulated widely. We dare say that its effectiveness can still be seen in the clean skies above Russian and American military parades, a clear sign that the clouds were secretly emptied before the tanks marched.

In 1981, James Broughton and Joel Singer moved to Sri Lanka to build an artistic community rooted on sincere pleasure and comunal joy. During their stay, they developed a way of harvesting, with film, an allegedly sexual energy latent in the rainforest. While re-projecting their films, they realised their audience embraced the energy unleashed by the flicker light, engaging in unbounded h appiness. 
On April 25, a date that will always be celebrated as a good day for a revolution, Oporto will exhibit the flicker film, Rain dance, by Standish 
Lawder and while the screen collects energy, a rain soup will be prepared following a recipe by Endre Tót. We hope that this rain feast will strengthen our community by promoting the joyful rise of the dark cloud, the spring of all nonconformist rain.

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plane.

Wednesday, April 25, 10.30 pm  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tempo Perdido no Oporto

Tempo perdido no Oporto
Exhibition of Oporto’s ephemera - Screening of Les Komas Peteux by Alain Baptizet- Printing session by Mike Goes West - The Red Mermaid by Gonçalo Pena  - Communal meal with João Simões

Built by a former merchant sailor union, this small theatre has been kept in its original state as a moored ship with the smell of bilge, covered with maritime murals, wooden decks, ring buoys and secret passageways. But now and then, it becomes a safe ‘port’ for night sessions of experimental films and videos, small exhibitions and occult meetings. 

Since 2007, the Oporto sessions have built up a loyal group of hardcore fans, followers of a continuum of indigestible art pieces, eccentricities and anachronisms that require a reckless taste for discomfort.  

For the programme to exist with its erratic consistency there was always a restricted group of people who lost their time at Oporto. Rather than turning it into a “cante jondo” venue to solve our financial and ideological problems, we decided to celebrate the work done by our companions to structure each séance.

On Sunday, December 10th at 20pm, we will be exhibiting graphic material from every Oporto session, from the awarded posters to the collectable flyers and publications. In the Oporto tradition, we will screen a documentary previously planned for an Occult session, that was lost in the mail. Once more by popular demand a new commemorative poster will be screen printed. We will also present a new mural to replace one unfortunately lost 14 years ago. Finally, we will drown ourselves in food and wine.

Oporto's entrance: Calçada  Salvador Correia de Sá 42, 2º F Lisboa

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oporto apresenta #47

The Vinegar Syndrome
Three contaminated films by Ed Emshwiller

- Totem (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 16’, 1963) 
- Chrysalis (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 22’, 1973)
- A Film With Three Dancers (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 19’, 1971)

To date, there is no serious study of the origin of William S. Burroughs' decaying voice. One might think that his monochordic tone was due to a risky life of rampant drug abuse and bad alcohol. But if we listen carefully, we can find the cause of this abnormal tone in his own words. 

For years, Burroughs argued that language is an opportunistic virus that comes from outer space, which inhabits the human larynx and controls all actions of the subject. The more we hear the strange flow of Burroughs’ hypnotic voice spreading his sour humour, the more it is evident that he is infected by a hedonistic being, lodged in his deep throat, melted into his vocal chords, forcing him to live under alien desire.

Acetate films are also subject to extraneous contamination. The first reports on this life form that feeds on images came in 1948 from the National Archives of India, and since then there has been a worldwide struggle to contain this epidemic. The first symptom of infection is a strong smell of vinegar, as the film releases acetic acid when under attack. Then the acid eats away the color, initiating an irreversible process of decay that ends in the complete vanish of the image.
Recently, Oporto acquired three films by the iconic filmmaker and Science Fiction illustrator Ed Emshwiller (also known as Emsh). Unfortunately, they all suffer from Vinegar Syndrome. Knowing that the deterioration process is fast and cannot be reversed, we will screen the reels before insulation in a cold film archive. To prevent further contamination, the projector will be cleaned and disinfected after the session.

On Mother- Vinagre and its offspring æ

Saturday,  Oct 21, 10.30 pm
Oporto entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon