The programme for the 6th edition of MEXE – International Meeting of Art and Community is closed. The Meeting proposes to create new spaces of discussion for the concerns and challenges that mark our communities. A poster where art dialogues with technology and scientific thought, looking at communities beyond the human, deepening other possible relationships with nature and seeking to build a space of affirmation for “invisibilities” that reflect social inequalities, aggravated by the pandemic. Performances, conversations, workshops, creative labs, installations and cinema make up the cycle of activities where social realities speak for themselves.
In highlight, the lecture of Neil Harbisson, the first person to be recognised by a government as a cyborg and whose work has been pointed out as one of the most controversial performative acts of our times. MEXE’s opening talk will provide insight into the thoughts of the president of the Cyborg Foundation, which supports people to be recognised as cyborgs by defending their rights.
Directly from Chile comes another of this year’s big bets, Paisajes para no colorear (Landscapes not to be colored) , a play that is built on accounts of acts of violence committed against female teenagers in Latin America. The play gives body to stories that share the vulnerability of what it is to be a woman, underage, in these geographies, placing the emphasis on the feminine. Besides the presentations in Porto and Viseu, La Re-sentida will guide a workshop of performative discovery for young Portuguese women.
Betting on the dilution of boundaries between different ways of knowing and doing, MEXE 2021 also proposes an installation project that mobilises biology and technology to reveal images and sounds of plant life growing beyond human sight and hearing. Unearthing Queer Ecologies by American Amy Reid questions the dualistic way humans perceive nature by sonically and visually documenting the growth of lavender, pansies and mushrooms; plants that are considered culturally “queer” considering their DNA.
Within the national scope of the programme, note should be taken of Classe de Jaime, a work based on the traditional dances of Serra D’Aire e Candeeiros, where a dancer and a musician meet several folk groups that have been preserving the repertoire of dance traditions. A fundamental exercise of memory, this show brings together for composition themes such as gender, eroticism and weight. Also of note is Manifestações do Teatro do Frio, a project based on the development of a set of actions with Porto residents around the occupation and redefinition of public space as a meeting place, oratory and a primordial means for the dynamic construction of identities.
In a time of exception, MEXE 2021 will also integrate online initiatives. Alongside the already announced cybernetic manifestation (Noise Machine), the event convenes the Herbanário Anticolonial workshop, where plants serve as an ignition point for a dialogue with the Portugal-Brazil colonial history. Complementing the presentation and performance work, MEXE 2021 will also present a film exhibition that will integrate six films on organisations and projects whose work is centred on participative and communitarian artistic practices. In the thought dimension, another of the festival’s programmatic axes, the book Community Artistic Practices, Participation and Politics, by Hugo Cruz, will be presented, and the fourth edition of EIRPAC – International Meeting of Reflection on Community Artistic Practices will be promoted in parallel, gathering eight higher education institutions to reflect on The Risk in the Contemporary.
Already announced were the Azevedo projects, Noise Machine, Altamira 2042, Visceral Taste of the Future, Laboratory of Impossible Risks and the performance of rapper Mynda Guevara. All the programming and details here.