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In the context of the Lisbon Art Week, the international contemporary art exhibition ‘PARAGONE: What’s with mediums today?’ will open on the 26th of May, in three exhibition centres: Cape Verde Cultural Center; Water Museum – Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station and Patriarchal Reservoir.

Samuel Nnorom, Linking Path. Courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE

The ‘PARAGONE’ exhibition offers a guided tour program that promotes the rediscovery of three stages of historical heritage – unknown to many – linked to Lisbon’s water supply.

‘PARAGONE: What’s with mediums today?’ carefully reflects on the notion of “mediums” in current artistic practice. Through the renewal and explorative deconstruction of the ancestral debate over the hierarchical classification of artistic disciplines in the early modern era, the ‘PARAGONE’ art exhibition reveals how long-established boundaries between arts and crafts are now becoming eminently permeable.

Curated by Graça Rodrigues, Katherine Sirois, Sónia Ribeiro and Ricardo Barbosa Vicente, this exhibition comprises the third chapter of a broader curatorial project of the contemporary art gallery THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE, ongoing since 2019, focusing on concepts of materiality and immateriality in the field of contemporary art.

Reflecting on the question of the “medium” in contemporary art discourse, the exhibition explores current trends towards the construction of formal unities independent of the compartmentalising ideas concerning the purity of the medium. Such compartmentalisation has previously ensured the historical position of works as art. However, the new trends in this exhibition assert themselves either through experimentation with technical addition or through the recovery and integration of remote practices of artistic production. The exhibition showcases a renewed approach to representation in contemporary art. This approach questions the historical system of categorisation and hierarchisation for the arts, a system that seems increasingly out of step with the times, particularly with respect to canonical norms.

Thus, the ‘PARAGONE’ exhibition challenges traditional criteria and judgments of aesthetic quality, expressing the pronounced philosophical ambition to problematise artistic practices. Through its three-stage exhibition – Centro Cultural Cabo Verde, Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station and Patriarchal Reservoir – ‘PARAGONE: What’s with mediums today?’ explores significant conjunction of media, highlighting works by artists from a wide variety of cultural milieus and geographical regions – including Algeria, South Africa, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Nigeria, Portugal, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Kingdom and São Tomé and Príncipe – whose creative practices cross spatial and technical boundaries.

For more information, please visit THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE.

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