Acts of Empathy
May 18 – Jul 2, 2023

Mohamed Hassan, The Screen © Mohamed Hassan

The third edition of Porto’s photography bienniale, entitled Acts of Empathy, focuses on assessing today’s social, ecological, and economic resources, and re-imagining a regenerative future. Bienal’23 co-artistic directors Jayne Dyer and Virgílio Ferreira invited 70 artists and 14 guest curators in 14 locations in Porto, transforming them into dynamic creative spaces where visitors are invited to participate in artistic Acts of Empathy.

Bienal’23 explores our ability to feel, collaborate and drive change through artistic acts of connectivity, reparation, and healing via CONECTAR, EXPANDIR, SUSTENTAR, VIVIFICAR (Connect, Expand, Sustain, Vivify), four sections that intersect local and global perspectives.

 

Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean © Ursula Biemann

Myriam Boulos, Tell the Trees to Smile, 2021 © Myriam Boulos

Rima Maroun, While Standing my Ground, 2020 © Rima Maroun

Alice Martins, FFOMECBLOT, PassioPassion © Alice Martins

While SUSTENTAR features creative laboratories in Portuguese urban centers that look into urban and regional sustainability issues, VIVIFICAR, through artistic residencies with communities, addresses one of the most pressing issues in low-density territories: the settlement of populations. Because these two sections demand concrete solutions and actions, EXPANDIR brings an experimental dimension by presenting academic and professional socio-ecological initiatives for emerging artists. CONECTAR fosters diverse cultural and artistic ecosystems through the interchange of exhibition projects, ideas, and transdisciplinary practices on a national and worldwide scale.

Bienal’23 features projects that are supported by deliberate artist engagement in community and environmental activities in order to foster reparative acts and empathy for the future.

 

Ligia Poplawska, Fading Senses Flame, 2020 © Ligia Poplawska

Emma Pigott, Epiphany Snowball © Emma Pigott

Marcelo Moscheta, Across the Matter of Time, 2023 © Marcelo Moscheta

Helena Uambembe, O Carpinteiro, 2018 © Helena Uambembe

Through the poetic and empowering capacity of photography and the moving image, our curatorial brief supports artists and curators as cultural activists to question current asymmetrical hierarchies of populism and division, and embrace the challenge to expose the apathy of non-action, disconnection, and the destruction of ecosystems.

In this sense, Bienal’23 is a provocation to contemplate how can we navigate our interconnected world of fractured social, ecological, and economic resources, a planet characterized by war and health emergencies.

How can we be part of a global collective body and take responsibility to catalyze regenerative change? Can we experience the pains and joys of humans and non-humans as if they were our own?

With connectedness center stage, we aim to empower socio-ecological sustainable lives. Bienal’23 showcases projects underpinned by conscious artist participation in community and environmental initiatives to encourage reparative acts and empathy for the future.

 

Athi-Patra Ruga, The Knight of the Long Knives I, 2013 © Athi-Patra Ruga

João Pedro Fonseca, Corten, 2022 © João Pedro Fonseca

Uwa Iduozee, Not yet, but I like painting, 2023 © Uwa Iduozee

Hyeseon Jeong and Seongmin Yuk, The Backpack of Wings © Hyeseon Jeong and Seongmin Yuk

Jorge Graça, Petricor, 2023 © Jorge Graça

Ursula Biemann, Forest Mind, 2021 © Ursula Biemann

Exhibition Venues:

CONECTAR
Speculative Ecologies
Portuguese Centre of Photography
Deep Blue
Gabinete Triplex – Museu do Porto
In Light Or Shadow Of What Was And Still Is
Casa Comum – Reitoria da Universidade do Porto
I Pity The Garden
Mala Voadora Theater

EXPANDIR
Deslocamentos
P.Artes Gallery
Fading Senses, Sensitive Territories
Salut au monde! Gallery
Imagem Em Devir
MIRA FORUM, Gallery
Eternal Youth
Pavilhão de Exposições da Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade do Porto
Vento (A)Mar
Panóptico, Hospital Conde Ferreira
Black | White | Green
Casa Da Imagem
Artists Futures 2023
Projection – 7O Piso Do Palácio Dos Correios

SUSTENTAR
Inter-Relationships
S. Bento Metro Station
Across The Matter Of Time
Portuguese Center Of Photography
Petricor
Artes Mota Galiza Gallery
Green Roofs Grey Roofs
Fundação Marques Da Silva

ViViFiCAR
ViViFiCAR exhibition 
Museu do Vinho do Porto

 

Acts of Empathy / Porto Photography Biennal 2023
May 18 – July 2, 2023 / Bienal Fotografia do Porto
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