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Staged Nature

#Exhibition
1 Apr - 30 Sep 2020
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, PT
Lisbon, PT

© 2019 Beauty of the snake, reflection in the mirror and soap bubbles, video: Vojtěch Rada


Raul Lino (1879-1974) was one of the most prominent Portuguese architects of the first half of the 20th century. His professional archive is now part of the Gulbenkian Art Library’s holdings. It comprises around 9.000 drawings and 220 photographs, as well as textual documentation related to 639 architectural projects designed between 1902 and 1974. One of these projects is the famous “The Lisbon Zoo” (1936-1972).

Staged Nature is a virtual exhibition project that explores this specific and rather emblematic architectural project aiming at facilitating and promoting its interpretation and discussion in the broader context of the Portuguese and Western European Architectural theory and practice of the mid-20th century.

This project primarily envisages to create a modern display of a project of architecture prepared to be explored by and more comprehensible to students and to general public. Starting from the traditional media of the architectural design we intend to create new ways by which innovative technology can enable and promote diverse visual experiences or disrupt -old traditions;

The second dimension of Staged Nature builds on the fact that architecture engages with a culture’s deepest social values by expressing them in material and aesthetic forms. The mains idea is to frame this project with the relevant questions of the 21st century about the display of wild animals and the questioning of the reasons why we still have zoos. To confront architecture’s complex relationship to its social and historical contexts and its audiences, achievements, and aspirations. To rethink about architecture’s power of use and representation of nature and how it can produce collective meaning and memory.

Finally, Staged Nature, fulfilling the objective of coproduction and format joint activities among the members, will be connected to the BINA - Belgrade International Architecture Week in Serbia/ Belgrade.

The two projects will be articulated having the FA participants as interaction point.  The selected FA emerging talents (two of five) from the Staged Nature will present their Lisbon projects in two "Interactive BINA lectures" as part of the Urban Talk. Selected talks will be in accordance with both Gulbenkian and BINA FA programs.