Lightcraft FestivalInternational Cultural Event
About the Festival
Organization: Belmonte Cultural Club
Direction: Frédéric Coustols e Maria Mendonça
Concept and authorship of texts: Mário Caeiro
Curators: Frédéric Coustols and Mário Caeiro
Assistant curator and photography: Agata Wiorko
Partners: DaST, WOA-Way of Arts, Festival LUMINA, PALAVRÃO Associação Cultural, IPL / ESAD.cr – LIDA, Embaixadas de Itália, Embaixada da Polónia e Embaixada da República Checa
LIGHTCRAFT is developed in the framework of the International Year of Light. It is curated by Frédéric Coustols and Mário Caeiro.
Curation of Lightcraft
Mário Caeiro is a lecturer, a curator and a researcher in the field of urban culture and public art. Director of urban events such as Lisbon Capital of Nothing [2001-2002], Luzboa [2004, 2006] and Vicente [yearly, since 2011], is since 2009 the curator and artistic director of the Bella Skyway Festival in Poland. Other urban projects: Cosmic Underground , Lux Matrix Tallinn , LightCurve  and LightCraft Belmonte . Teaches at ESAD.cr since 2004, where he’s a member of the research unit LIDA – Laboratório de Investigação em Design e Artes. Named a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 2005. PhD in Visual Arts and Intermedia by Universidade Politecnica de Valencia (Spain) in 2012, also graduated in Communication Design (ESBAL) and Comparative Literary Studies (FCSH-UNL), holding a Master in German Studies (FCSH-UNL) and a post-graduation in Urban Design (CPD/FBAUL/Universidade de Barcelona]. In 2014 published Arte na Cidade – História Contemporânea[Art in the City – Contemporary History]. Cooperates regularly with the magazine Smart Cities.
Timeline of Events
About Lightcraft 2017
Lightcraft is back to Castelo in Lisbon. Palácio Belmonte is happy to present the work of two international artists for whom Light is a most crucial research topic and creative challenge – Anita Ackermann and Gisoo Kim.
Curated by the hosts Frederic Coustols and Maria Mendonça with guest curator and researcher Mário Caeiro (ESAD.CR/LIDA), two complementary moments establish a rare breed of a dialogical situation. This is where several instances meet: the public and the intimate, the everyday and the aesthetic encounter, the ancient and the contemporary.
Outside, German artist Anita Ackermann presents a site-specific work. Inside Gisoo Kim, a Korean, shows a series of photographs in the Palácio Belmonte Cultural Club Cafe. Both stand for highly original and deeply knowledged takes on installation and sculpture, photography and drawing, physics and poetry, proposing through this programme a mode of seeing where Light becomes what (it) is: a medium to make other dimensions of Human experience visible.
“Alchemy of a Day” installation
Date: July 16th – December 31st 2017
Schedule: 7am – 9pm
Location: Palácio Belmonte Cultural Club Cafe
Address: Pateo Dom Fradique, 14 – 1100-624 Lisboa
Contacts: +351 218816600 _ email@example.com
Artist/Author: Anita Ackermann
Title: Alchemy of a Day
Curated by: Maria Mendonça and Frederic Coustols
Guest Curator: Mario Caeiro
Assistants: Irene Anglada Espadaler, Diogo Sousa, Gonçalo Silva, Mariana Vinheiras
Special Thanks: Sérgio Vicente / FBAUL
Partners: Palácio Belmonte Cultural Club, DaST, WOA-Way of Arts
Sponsors: Palacio Belmonte Lisboa lda, DaST
A crystalline star is in alignment with the angles of the sunlight, weaving a delicate carpet of reflections. The installation is made of reflecting elements, distributing by means of a specific folding technique the light of the place in a dynamic way.
The work is intented to stimulate an unexpected set of relations, such as with the continuous flux of people, the passing of the hours and the spatial context – a particularly appealing portal in the core of the Old Town of Lisbon.
The crowd crosses through the tunnel engaging with their mouvement in the surrounding atmosphere. The historial resonances transforms into a lived semblance of the idea of walking through the Light. The mouvement brings together a mystical dimension with the physical tekné.
A crystalline star is in alignment with the angles of the afternoon sunlight, weaving a delicate carpet of reflections. The installation is made of handmade reflecting elements, distributing by means of a specific folding technique the light of the place in a dynamic way. The work is intented to stimulate an unexpected set of relations, such as with the continuous flux of people, the passing of the hours and the static presence of a vernacular image of Jesus which has been in the site for centuries. The idea is to let the public experience and explore such special spatial context, a particularly appealing portal in the core of the Old Town of Lisbon.
A series of inspirations drove the spirit of the artist, leading her to articulate a complex web of ideas and images. The dazzling ceiling of the Diamond Hall in Tehran, the scientifical-religious play with the Light of the sun in the Egyptian Abu Simbel temple, the geometric laws of Light as reflected through prisms… all this in a highly participated way: the crowd crosses the tunnel engaging with their mouvement in the surrounding atmosphere. The above mentioned historial resonances transform into a lived semblance of the idea of walking accross Light. The mouvement brings together a mystical dimension with the physical tekné.
About the Artist
Anita Ackermann, based in Berlin, Germany.
2014 / MA/ Diploma, “In the Light of Movement”; University of the Arts Berlin, UDK; Karsten Konrad/ Fine Art, Prof. G. Diel/ Institut für transmediale Gestaltung, Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski/ Institut für zeitbasierte Medien;
2010 / BA. Communication in Social and Economic Contexts, “Diverse Time Concepts- What is time” University of the Arts Berlin, UDK; Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski/ Institute for Time Based Media, Prof. Thomas Düllo/ Institute for Theory and Practice of Communication.
Shadows of the Sun, Studio U Berlin, Germany;
Epicycles: In Eternal Movement, Public Space: Elementary School Courtyard, Torun, Poland;
InTension, ArtBridge Contemporary at LageEgal, Berlin, Germany;
Contemporary Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey;
Evening Rise Tallinn, Dominiklaste Kloostri Muuseum Talllinn, Estland;
Jardins Efémeros, Museu Nacional Grão Vasco, Portugal;
Artist Talk at the conference „Luz da Cidade“Portugal / Part of the Unesco International Year of Light;
BlauBlauBlau, Trierer Kunstverein und Tuchfabrik e.V.;
ZERO Dynamo Ausstellung, Begleitprogramm Martin Gropius Bau, Akademie der Künste, Berlin;
Ultraviolet, Solo-Exhibition, Vesselroom Project, Berlin;
Artist Talk at Vesselroom Preoject Berlin “Embodied Vision“;
CTM UnTune, Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin;
Artist Talk Goldsmith / London (Andy Weir) „What We See, Sees Us“;
Artist Talk at the Design Faculty (Prof. Gabi Schillig), University of Applied Science Duesseldorf;
In the light of movement, L‘Atelier Project Space, Berlin;
After the last shot, Pop Up Gallery International, Berlin;
Rotation, Reflection, Repetition, Repetition. Mota Italic Gallery, Berlin;
“URBANE CODES”, Galerie M, Berlin;
DAAD Fellowship Emily Carr University, Vancouver, Canada;
Black Holes and Other Transformations, Concourse Gallery, ECUAD, Vancouver BC. Canada;
Uranus Jupiter Conjunction, HBC Berlin, Germany.
2011 – 2014 / Tutor / Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinski / Institue for Time Based Media / Mediatheory, UdK Berlin;
2010 – 2011 / Tutor / Prof. Timothee Ingen-Housz / Institue for Time Based Media / Mediatheory/ Animationfilm, UdK Berlin;
2009 – 2010 / Tutor / Prof. Barbara Kirchner / Audiovisual Studies, UdK Berlin.
Date: August 3rd – December 31st 2017
Schedule: 10am – 9pm
Location: Palácio Belmonte Cultural Club Cafe
Address: Pateo Dom Fradique, 14 – 1100-624 Lisboa
Contacts: +351 218816600 _ firstname.lastname@example.org
“My photo works seem real and at the same time sureal. By stiching and cutting the photographs they acquire further expressive elements. Some photo works show altered landscapes. In other works I insert objects which obviously dont seem to fit, and therefore appear to be homeless. Like in a dream where different aspects come together forming a new melange of realities.”
About the Artist
By the words of the artist:
“I lived for the last 20 years in Germany.
I find myself in between the German and the Korean culture.
My memory, my thoughts and my actions have typical Korean and German roots, and an important issue in my work is to combine and mix very different views and perspectives.
In my works I developed a new technique where I make a collage of photos, but instead of using glue or cutting the photos on the computer I stitch the photos together with yarn. This way I bring together different places and situations that may be connected in a real or surreal manner. The stitches with yarn not only serve to join the different photos together, but they also are stitchery drawings.
By the use of stitchery on the photos the works get deepness and several levels and structures.”
Education and Residence:
2010 / Artist in Residence, Seoul Art Space_ Geumcheon(SASG)
2004 / Master student of Prof. Irmin Kamp; Master degree at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf/Germany
2001 – 2004 / Kunstakademie Dusseldorf by Prof. Magdalena Jetelová and Prof. Irmin Kamp
1997 – 2001 / Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg/Germany by Prof. Franz Ehrhard Walter and Prof. Wiebke Siem
1995 / Bachelor of fine arts in Seoul City University, Seoul/South-Korea
1991 – 1994 / Study of sculpturing in the Seoul City University
2015 / Artists program, Alfred Cläre Pott Foundation
2013 / Young Talent Promotion of Arts Foundation of North Rhein- Westphalia/ Germany
2011 / 2th Prize, Wilhelm Fabry Museum/ Germany
2009 / Young Talent Promotion of Arts Foundation of North Rhein- Westphalia/ Germany
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2017 / Kunstverein Würzburg/ Germany; Kunst & Co, Flensburg/ Germany
2016 / Kunstverein Paderborn/ Germany; Kunstraumno.10, Mönchengladbach
2015 / Artist house, Göttingen
2014 / Kunstverein Bayreuth/ Germany; Korean Cultural Center, Paris
2012 / Kunstverein Heinsberg/ Germany; Korean Cultural Center, Berlin/ Germany; Galerie S, Aachen ( Festival across the borders)/ Germany; Kunstverein Trier/ Germany
2011 / Stadtgalerie Kaarst, Kunstverein Landshut/ Germany
2010 / Stadtgalerie Haus Köster-Emden in Altena/Germany
2009 / Kunstverein in Biberach/Germany
2008 / Galerie Heimeshoff in Essen/Germany
2007 / V.I.A.P. Galerie in Heerlen/The Netherlands; Baustelle Schaustelle, temporary space for young art in Essen/Germany
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2017 / “eyes on nature”, Haus Metternich, Koblenz; German Textile Museum, Krefeld/ Germany; “orinoco”, photo weekend Düssledorf, plan.d., Düsseldorf
2016 / “Fibrish”, Miami Beach Urban Studiuos, USA; Gallery Jinsun, Seoul. Korea; Artis discover Europe, Forum, Leverkusen/ Germany
2015 / Forum Kunst 6 Architektur, Essen/ Germany
2014 / “re-con-nect.” Gallery Korea, New York, USA
2013 / Juozasart Gallery, Vilnius; Anonymous drawings, Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin; Große Kunstausstellung NRW, Museum Kunstpalast; bcs Gallery, New York
2012 / 5 Jahre Baustelle Schaustelle
2011 / Los Angeles Art association; Wilhelm Fabry Museum, Hilden
2010 / Museum Kunstpalast in Dusseldorf/Germany; Project Space 333, Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon, Seoul, Korea; Zeche Zollverein, Essen, contemporary art ruhr
2009 / plan.d in Dusseldorf/Germany; WP8 in Dusseldorf/Germany Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin/Germany
2008 / Märkisches Scholarship 2009 for drawings from Städtische Galerie in Iserlohn/Germany; Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin/Germany; Kunstraum in Dusseldorf/Germany; Contemporary Art Ruhr 08 – Das Forum“ at Zeche Zollverein in Essen/Germany; Frauenmuseum in Bonn/German
2007 / “The Art of Drive and Control” (Art competition of Bosch Rexroth AG at IHK in Wurzburg/Germany; Zeche Zollverein in Essen/Germany
2006 / “Madness & Arts” at Catwalk World Festival in Osmo Halls of Muenster/Germany; plan.d in Dusseldorf/Germany
2005 / Künsterlaus Hilden/Germany
2000 / Westwerk in Hamburg/Germany
1999 / “Young Art International ’99” at Overbeck-Society in Lubeck/Germany
Three original interpretations of the Art of Light, in the outdoor and indoor spaces of the magnificent Palácio Belmonte, in Lisbon.
The Light of Lisbon was crucial for the decision of renewing the building of the ancient Belmonte Palace in Lisbon, in Castelo [at the Castle], bringing new uses: art, science, knowledge. Maria and Frédéric Coustols transformed the space in a cultural landmark and a meeting point for innovation and sustainability.
For the 15 years of the opening of the Palace, Light is offered again the leading figure, through the presentation of artistic visions for which Light is more than just a theme: for Alessandro Lupi, Jana Matejkova-Middleton & Rory Middleton and Stefan Kornacki, Light is matter, language, a mistery and above all a challenge demanding a careful take on the historical, cultural and philosophical dimensions.
About the Event
Stefan Kornacki is a new reference in Polish art. This is his third presentation in Portugal. After his participation in LUMINA Festival, in Cascais, ‘Things to Come’, the newest renditon of his groundbreaking ‘Inscription Project’ (already presented in other European cities) is the largest and most spectacular installation by the artist, who will perform in the ruins of Pátio de D. Fradique an operatic appropriation of the sci-fi Classic movie by William Cameron Menzies (1936).
In the following months and through previous appointment, the public may visit the permanent works of Alessandro Lupi and Jana Matejkova-Middleton & Rory Middleton. It is an exceptional opportunity, for it is particularly striking the delicate contrast between the beautiful and serene environment and these irreverent Contemporary objects.
Beyond the artistic interventions, the programme includes a performance by Stefan Kornacki and guests, the launching of the book Corisco e Resplendor – Notes on a flash production: Óbidos-Luz (Palavrão – Associação Cultural) coordinated by Mário Caeiro and Philip Cabau, part of an interdisciplinary conference about urban heritage project making.
Other moments, besides the guided tours, are the presentation of the film Things to Come, by William Cameron Menzies, a science-fiction masterpiece, commented from the perspectives of Science, History and Typography; the visit to the whole set of the works by Jana Matejkova-Middleton & Rory Middleton in the Palace (accompagnied by the artists); and the world première of the film ‘A Casa das Duas Portas’, by Abel Pinheiro, which will be commented by sculptor André Banha.
Works, Artists & Speakers
Introducing Stefan Kornacki
“Things to Come (Inscription project)”
The ruins at Pátio de D. Fradique become a post-apocalyptic scenery, though still demanding the act of reading. What conclusions might we draw from the experience of reading urban space as the relic from another Civilization? VICTORIA, KOSMOS, UNIWERSAM… What do these words tell us about the past and about the future? And about the present? For it is clear they appear to want to be characters of the world-text which is history, memory, discourse.
The presentation of a new operatic version of Stefan Kornacki’s Inscription Project consists in the staged setup of a series of formerly luminous letteringswhich years ago were urban signs, topping buildings in the People’s Republic of Poland. The irony is that, since these old symbols of innovation and progress were outdone by time (technological evolution in lighting design, the fall of hegemonic ideology), they reappear now in the urban scape as absurd utterations. In the strange situation created by the artist, there is a profound fascination with the complexity of the phenomenon of urban communication. These ‘signs’ come from past. But we can look at them also as signs of the future, ruins, of all and any civilizations. Things to come.
The main idea of the project is to act in public space using recovered inscriptions and neon signs. Since 2009, installations, events and happenings based on and using the original designs appear in different contexts, relocating stories of the places they come from. Keeping their character as communication devices, these typographic signs embody a semantic field which becomes disturbed and expanded, promoting new possibilities of meaning. The original functionality of the messages is completely surpassed.
In the ruins of Pátio de D. Fradique, the words ‘VICTORIA’, ‘ELANA’, ‘KOSMOS’, ‘APATOR’ and ‘UNIWERSAM’ appear. Each evokes a complex memory. VICTORIA, the most international hotel in Warsaw, was once the first luxury hotel in Poland, having been immortalized in a number of movies… The word UNIWERSAM, once the symbol of an economic boom in Poland, was not so many years ago proudly on the top of the most important department store in Toruń… ELANA, in the same city, has been the largest of local factories, producing chemical fibres – thousands of workers had to cope with its recente demolition. APATOR is still active, supporting motorized sports. KOSMOS, also in Toruń (birthplace of Copernicus), descended from the skies in 2009 (from the top of the eponymous hotel), to star at the first edition of the Light Festival Skyway…
About the Artist
Stefan Kornacki (b. 1983) is a versatile Polish artist working in various fields, from graphic design, installation, video, theatrical activities, to performance and poetry, in the framework of diverse collaborations. Having played, among others, with the jazzman Tomasz Stanko, he is the singer of the band SER CHARLES. This is the third time Kornacki shows in Portugal, after having participated in OBJET TROUVÉ (collective exhibition at Plataforma Revólver, 2012), the artistic train COSMIC UNDERGROUND (2013) and LUMINA Festival (2015). He has also realized a non-authorized performance in front of the Portuguese Parliament, named “Crise” (2013). The Inscription Project consists in a series of activities in urban space, using signs formerly attached to buildings in a performatic way.
Introducing Alessandro Luppi
“Antiego Mirror” – at Palácio Belmonte [Visits through previous appointment]
“Antiego Mirror” – 82x62x12cm, mixed media, 2013
In the intimacy of the Palace, the work Antiego Mirror is like an alchemy – an instrument for us to acknowledge that the ego can be a lie or a prison.
“Antiego Mirror” is a mirror. A mirror which at first sight looks normal, but which reflects light in a way which won’t allow the spectator to see his/her own face reflected back (although his/her image companions remain perfectly recognizable). The piece allows for a moment of reflection and at the same time of estrangement. It offers an unexpected experience, in contrast with the ‘ordinary’ world of everyday perception. Forcing the spectator to reposition him/herself, irony opens a dimension of fragility.
About the Artist
The installations by Alessandro Lupi (b. 1975) challenge the spectator concerning the limits between active participation and passive contemplation. Insight, light and space are the fundamental elements of his art, which is an extraordinary investigation about perception. Lupi shows for the third time in Portugal, after works realized in Óbidos (ÓBIDOS LUZ, 2014), Lisbon (VICENTE, 2015) and Cascais (LUMINA, 2015).
Introducing Jana Matejkova-Middleton & Rory Middleton
“Cut by Light” – A site-specific intervention comprising permanent and ephemeral art works for Palácio Belmonte
at Palácio Belmonte – Music Room, Maria Ursula Ballroom, East Terrace and Front Patio – Visits by previous appointment.
“Her Silent Sonata” (2015)
Neon Thread on Canvas, Black MDF – 120x90cm
“His Silent Dance” (2015)
Neon Thread on Canvas, Walnut, Black MDF, UV led lighting – 80x50x50cm
The two artworks at the Music Room are an act of love. The two artists establish between themselves, the space and the cultural vision which fuels the Palace, an extremely sensitive dialogue which pays attention to lowermost and intimate traces of the place. The Music Room, surrounded by XVII century tiles, is inhabited by the play of art, poetically evoking ancient social practices and alluding to a new and contemporary dimension of aesthetic experience.
“Her Silent Sonata” is a neon thread embroidery piece inspired by marks on Belmonte’s facade. The illuminated drawing directly depicts the drips on the northern side of the tower, dating back to the time of the Romans. The piece opens up a dialogical space between architectural features of the Palace and the decorative elements characteristic of the Belmonte interiors, eluding to the tradition of embroidery that took place over the centuries within these walls. The contemporary materials and black light illumination are in direct contrast with the aesthetic of the Music Room, yet rather than competing, they aid to complement the spirit of the setting, quietly transforming the space and suggesting the atmospheric qualities of an ‘electric’ disco environment.
In partnership with “Her Silent Sonata” stands a bespoke furniture piece made by Rory Middleton. “His Silent Dance” is an elegant coffee table to which a built-in UV lamp was added. The piece carries an embroidered detail of one of the azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles) in the room representing music players in the fields. The viewer is invited into a little play trying to find the tile in this silent puzzle.
“Night Rider” (2016)
“Outside over there” (2016)
“Night Rider” is a monumental black and white triangular form, reminiscent of a boat’s sail seen emerging from the crisp white background of Palacio Belmonte wall and silhouetted against the Lisbon Sky. The sculpture has its own life. Shape and appearing patterns will constantly change, depending on direction and intensity of the wind. Made out of 10 000 Black and white Tyvek stripes attached to a fish net, the sculpture celebrates black and white, the colors of Lisbon and of all the pirates of the earth.
“Outside over there” is a Relief made from neon yellow and green Acrylic forms, positioned against a mirrored background which plays with perspective and perception. Inspired by the silhouettes of stalagmites, the two dimensional shapes alter in relation to the viewers movement. At the same time the mirrored background reveals a reflection of the viewer, who appears and disappears as part of the sculpture. “Outside over there” invites the viewer to open the door of imagination and enter the secret and mysterious worlds out there hiding behind our “ordinary” yet extraordinary lives.
The wings of a dragonfly are delicately hung in the courtyard capturing a moment in time. The inspiration for the work came from observation of the visual and sculptural quality of the skeletal form of a dragonfly’s wings. The translation of dragonfly into the Czech language is “vážka”, a word sharing common roots with expressions such as ‘to weigh’, ‘to regard’, ‘to think’. These words were significant during the creation of this artwork and reflect the philosophical approach behind its making. Dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness and they often appear in art and literature. The piece is built on balance and strength. The wings are simply connected at two points allowing it to gently tremble in the space, letting the viewer appreciate nature’s magic.
About the Artists
Jana Matejkova-Middleton (b. 1979), Czech, lives in Scotland and the Czech Republic. She is fascinated by light and its language. By means of site-specific installations, frequently interactive, she articulates different media as photography, sound, video, dance and other new technologies, which help her to build up and explore relationships which certain places suggest. Public spaces in urban settings, landscape and nature are key-words in her work. She uses light not only for its ability to shape an atmosphere and change the environment, but also as a motion accentuating shapes whether it is reflected, radiating, stroboscopic or fluorescent. Her large installations are often commissioned for well-established Light Art festivals around Europe. Some of her smaller pieces and drawings are represented in public and private collections in Czech Republic, Portugal and Germany.
Rory Middleton (b. 1977) lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland. In his work, he builds environments and design projects to host live music and performances, underlining the relations between the architecture, the landscape and people. He creates art works which seduce Human senses through the interpretation of natural and modified atmospheres, combining lo-fi and hi-fi methods used in cinema. In this context, he develops site-specific works which lead places to acquire a different voice, one which might be heard by all but understood at various levels.