Museu da Crise in Guimarães

In Guimarães, the Museu da Crise was part of the programming of the Educational Service of Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture, under the Love Difference project by Michelangelo Pistoletto, whose programme aims to create a purposeful dialogue and to expand concepts and methodologies.

Museu da Crise is an independent art project initiated by Daniela Paes Leão [PT] and Merel Willemsen [NL] in 2011. The main objective of the Museu da Crise is to circumscribe the current crisis through artistic research and action in collaboration with the communities that suffer from the consequences of this crisis, and to contain it within a museum building in order to transform the notion of crises into a concept of the past. Museu da Crise explores the viability of translating the domestic strategies and parallel economies that are very much present in contemporary society, to a larger, city-, nation- and worldwide scale by designing and implementing infrastructure. Right now the Museu da Crise does not have a physical location, being a conceptual place still very much present everywhere, as is the current crisis.

The central themes the Museu da Crise investigated in Guimarães were the ingenuity, flexibility and creativity – so characteristic of the Portuguese – related to the resistance to this crisis in which we live today.

In Guimarães, the Museu da Crise manifested itself through three actions:

1. At the 7 tables / 7 seas constituting the Love Difference project that are located in seven emblematic institutions in the city of Guimarães, a questionnaire was available that addressed the effects of the current financial crisis on, and the alternative economies already existing in the daily life of the Portuguese. In addition news clippings relating to the Portuguese government’s austerity programme were available. The questionnaire could also be completed online at the museum’s website.

2. The data generated by this questionnaire was included in a series of workshops that were being held in each institution hosting the Love Difference project; with the exception of Escola Superior Artística do Porto (ESAP). The aim of the workshops was to collect and systemise the examples of alternative economies already existing in the daily life of the Portuguese and to formulate new ones. Six distinct groups of people (emigrants, immigrants, school children, university students, lawyers and teachers) participated in the workshops and collaborated in the creation of a poster to present the collected information from the questionnaire and the workshops to the population of Guimarães. These posters were subsequently spread throughout the city and its surroundings.

3. The entire process was filmed and incorporated in a movie that premiered at the roundtable session organised at ESAP on December 6th that concluded this instalment of the Museu da Crise. The about the current crisis, the way people in general are effected by it and the motivations and objectives of Museu da Crise project.



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