VICENTE - 2011
Crows – traditionally called ‘Vicentes’ – are an important symbol of the city of Lisbon. Discreetly, they stare at us from the coats of arms hanging from the street lamps, flying on the official flags, but have been absent from the collective memory. Now, Projecto Travessa da Ermida has decided to ‘give wings’ to the Crow of Lisbon, in a project of u rban culture, public art and publishing, with the participation of international creators and developed in a partnership with several entities, institutions and companies. Vicente is the cosmopolitan unrest of imagination.
Vicente is the name of the patron saint of the city, whose tormented
body arrived at the Tagus escorted by two crows that hovered over the
ship, from Sagres. (...) Vicente would have also been the name of Saint
Anthony's grandfather. And Vicente is the name that invariably was given
to the crows that inhabited the daily life of Lisbon, at the entrance
of taverns and groceries. (...) And, now, Vicente is also the name of a
project. Memory, myth, creativity, future, Vicente is the beat of unrest.
When Vicente flapped its wings, its name was not Vicente yet. It was ‘just’ an idea to create a light-art exhibition at the Ermida de N. Sra. da Conceição on the Travessa do Marta Pinto, dedicated to the crows of Lisbon. In that initial moment, we were far from supposing – as we are sure many of our readers and fellow Lisboans – how the richness of the subject, and this book, would echo the process of that very first appropriation of the legend and history.
The Travessa da Ermida wanted to stir up a symbol, a nothing that is everything: the symbol of Lisbon, the white city with the black crows on the crest. Vicente: Lisbon’s patron saint, ancient myth and daily presence.
Together with artists and authors – who were asked to give a voice and a body to the more complex of characters: the imponderability of the emerging sign, the fleeting conscience of the city! Vicente is about the myth that refounds and the action that illuminates.
The components of the project emerged naturally. Close to the arts of light, situation and word, they got nearer to the conversations and walks, a meeting point with an ars urbana. Vicente flapped its wings once again. The unquiet cawed. Lisbon allows itself to be imagined. History is not a closed book.
The procession – processio, process – is only just beginning. The perspectives chosen for these texts and these images barely scratch the density of a myth and a complex history with millenary resonances, but this may be a place of revelation. The revelation of an evidence: conversing – conversation/conversion…
– is necessary. Vicente is, straight out of the Invenção de Lisboa by Sarmento de Matos, this conversational journey to the shadows of light, throughout the Travessa do Marta Pinto, to the end of memory, to the end of the beginning.
By simply giving the name Vicente to a cultural project of this complexity, we aim at making justice to the idea that culture meets the collective everyday in contingent informality.
Ermida da N.ª Sr.ª da Conceição: September 10th to October 25th 2011
Press releases: Fábia Fernandes – t. 213-637-700 – email@example.com
Promoting entity: Projecto Travessa da Ermida /Project direction: Eduardo Fernandes /Production direction: Fábia Fernandes /Production: Patrícia Craveiro Lopes /Concept: Mário Caeiro /Consulting: José Sarmento de Matos /Design: Silvadesigners /Plastic artists: Simeon Nelson, João Ribeiro + Nuno Maya & Carole Purnelle, Jana Matejkova, André Banha /Authors: Mário Caeiro, José Sarmento de Matos, Luís de Oliveira e Silva, Nelson Guerreiro, Pedro Gadanho
Organization: Projecto Travessa da Ermida
Sponsoring: Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, EGEAC, Turismo de Portugal, Companhia das Quintas, Junta de Freguesia de Santa Maria de Belém, Manulena Lda, Jardim Botânico Tropical, Pensão Setubalense, University of Hertfordshire, Czech Republic Embassy, Molduras RTP2, Lusa