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Jorge Cerqueira, Three Marionettes: Vasco da Gama, Infante D. Henrique, Monsayeed

Jorge Cerqueira, Three Marionettes: Vasco da Gama, Infante D. Henrique, Monsayeed (2012), from Os Lusíadas by Luís Vaz de Camões [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, May 12-Oct 12] Photo: Kyla Bailey

Heaven, Hell and Somewhere in Between:
Portuguese PopularArt

Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver BC – May 12-Oct 12, 2015

Carnival costume, Mira

Carnival costume, Mira (2011), [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, May 12-Oct 12] Photo: Marcel Shelton

David Gomes, Christ on the Cross

David Gomes, Christ on the Cross, c. 2001 [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, May 12-Oct 12] Photo: Kyla Bailey

Ericailcane, Crocodile (Wall Mural), Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Lisbon

Ericailcane, Crocodile (Wall Mural), Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Lisbon [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, May 12-Oct 12] Photo: Anthony Alan Shelton

Manuel Esteves Lima, Plaque: The crucifixion of Zé Povinho, the embodiment of the Portuguese people who are pulled in two directions by different factions of the left, while the ministers of the incumbent socialist government burn in Hell

Manuel Esteves Lima, Plaque: The crucifixion of Zé Povinho, the embodiment of the Portuguese people who are pulled in two directions by different factions of the left, while the ministers of the incumbent socialist government burn in Hell (2009), [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, May 12-Oct 12] Photo: Kyla Bailey

Portugal might not be the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of an exhibit made for a purpose-built anthropological museum that was inspired by Northwest Coast longhouses and whose most recognizable artworks were made by First Nations people. But such a development is hardly surprising when one considers that anthropologists of today spend as much time writing about social media as they do about pre-contact kinship patterns.

Curated by MOA director Anthony Shelton, Heaven, Hell and Somewhere in Between: Portuguese Popular Art includes more than 300 works from both rural and urban populations – everything from murals and graffiti tags to puppets, carnival masks, ceramics and figurines. Taken together, these works approximate a “theatre of the nation, where art and culture are mediated through the eruption of personal, profound and deeply felt sentiments.”

In addition to offering the museum experience, the exhibition provides a starting point for the latest in the MOA Journeys series, where gallery visitors have the opportunity to join Shelton on an expedition to Portugal to experience first-hand the larger context from which these contemporary artworks emerged.

Michael Turner

















































































Nelson Oliveira, Three Devil figures, Barcelos

Nelson Oliveira, Three Devil figures, Barcelos (2011), ceramic [Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver BC, May 12-Oct 12] Photo: Kyla Bailey


 Mon, Jun 8, 2015