Paulo Mendes


“Art is not only talent but above all courage”
Glauber Rocha

«90s, the discussion of gender normativity and social behavior is not an originality of recent times. In the 90s when I began my work, I experienced the decade of the hangover of the triumph of free markets and the establishment of global capitalism, Perestroika and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Lusitanian Cavakistan, the Bosnia and the Gulf War, the massification of the World Wide Web, the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, were the years of AIDS.

The series of works L’ART DE VIVRE (PORTRAIT)
It was originally produced in 1997, following other work done years before in which I just manipulated toys that represented these characters, these stereotype wrappers.

In these photographs the author/producer is confused with the product, my body is matter, to metamorphose into those social models. Following the principle of Gustave Flaubert, who said “Madame Bovary, c’est moi.”
My subject body incorporates the political body and the social body, struggling with the grotesque dimension of strategic management of behavioral competencies. In 1997, in 2019, they formalized through their sexuality and their latent violence, the operating instructions we received to represent the society of the spectacle.

While discussing the viability of the welfare state in this techno-sociability society, we observe the symptoms of the precariousness of a globalized system, the precariousness of a daily life that intended standardized, without friction, without critical thinking interfering with the proper functioning of the great neoliberal machine of profit production. We are in a period of disruptive innovation that has caused social polarization and changes in the concept of work; a period in which we witness massive surveillance and are confronted with algorithms.
A work project is a thinking mechanism/process that materializes temporarily.
An exposure is not for resting the eyes but for exercising the brain.

Producing ART remains an act of resistance.
The question is not to produce political art, but to produce our work politically.»

P.M. 2019


Artist, curator and producer of cultural projects, has presented his work individually and collectively since the early 1990s. Over the years and as a visual artist he has presented his work at the Serralves Museum, Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra (CAPC), Museu do Neo-Realismo, Solar Galeria de Arte Cinemática, Chiado Museum, Plataforma Revólver, ZDB Gallery, Culturgest, Quadrum Gallery, Nuno Centeno Gallery, Colégio das Artes - University of Coimbra, Centro Cultural Vila Flor (CCVF), Berardo Museum / CCB, Appleton Square, Museu da Electricidade / Fundação EDP / MAAT, among many other national and international spaces.
His work is represented in numerous public and private collections such as Serralves Foundation, EDP / MAAT Foundation Art Collection, Neo-Realism Museum, PLMJ Foundation, Ilídio Pinho Foundation, Norlinda and José Lima Collection, Ivo Martins Collection, among others. Over thirty years, he has participated in approximately 300 exhibit and performance projects, having curated and produced over seventy independent and institutional exhibitions, which marked the development of the work of a new generation of creators and provided him an extensive knowledge of the artistic practice in Portugal.

19.10.17 - Paulo Mendes


Mupi Gallery

Ficha Técnica

A Política das Imagens
Curadoria: João Baeta
Produção e Comunicação: Mariana Vitale
Assistência de Produção e Comunicação: Catarina Rangel Pereira
Impressão: Lumen



Saco Azul, Maus Hábitos,
Rua Passos Manuel 178

4º andar

4000-382 Porto

Produção & Programação Artística



Assessoria de Imprensa


19.10.17 - Paulo Mendes

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19.10.17 - Paulo Mendes
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