2023 – The Lab for Form and Matter (Casa de Mateus, Vila Real, Pt)

In residence throughout the year, Belgian bio-artist Anne Marie Maes – whose practice combines art and science with a special interest in biotechnology, ecosystems, and alchemical processes – will install her Laboratory of Form and Matter at Casa de Mateus. A place of discovery of the biodiversity present within the Foundation’s perimeter, this atelier & laboratory will also be the place to unfold the infinite forms of visual representation of what is around us: the nature we see, but also what we don’t see, such as bacteria that produce fabrics or invent new palettes.

Artists’ Proposition: This is an artistic proposal for a long term site specific project, stretching over spring, summer and fall. The goal is to activate an on-site artistic production studio, in close collaboration with the local fab lab, and to develop works starting from primary materials collected on the domain of the Casa de Mateus. The focus will to be on biodiversity, sustainability and transition, and we’ll include elements from the local forests, vineyards, vegetable gardens, orchards, wild flower gardens and french gardens. We would like to focus on creating a deep connection with the environment we are part of, specially with the “terroir” of the Casa de Mateus, and thus commit to encouraging cross-pollination with the local ecosystem. We want to create an evolving project of new experiments and proven practices, all inspired by the rhythm, energy, beauty and inventiveness of nature. A project that thrills, inspires, challenges and delights local and national audiences, that stimulates community involvement and that attracts visitors from around the country.



The Present of the Future : Pluridisciplinary artistic residencies
The residencies will bring together three artists, of different languages, and a non-artist, who will assume the role of mediator. Although the emphasis will be on the process and on the discovery that the confrontation of languages brings about, each residency should be shared with plural audiences, from people interested in getting to know the inside of artistic processes to the concerted communities involved by the mediator. From this process, there will remain, beyond this sharing, a videographic and editorial memory that should constitute, in itself, an artistic object.
So far, for the 2023-24 biennium, we have invited the curators Miguel Palma, Miguel Azguime and AnneMarie Maes. Miguel Palma is a visual artist who appropriates the narratives of a modernity in permanent questioning to better reflect on the present, and unfolds his creativity in a constructive drive that summons up and problematizes concepts such as progress, degeneration, speed, and failure. Miguel Azguime, Portuguese composer, poet, and percussionist, founded with Paula Azguime the Miso Ensemble, a flute and percussion duo, one of the most important Portuguese contemporary music groups. She also created the Academia Sond’Ar-te, a place for training, and O’Culto da Ajuda, an experimental room dedicated to music. Annemarie Maes studied at the Sint-Lucas Academy in Brussels and specialized in documentary anthropological cinema at the Institute for Sound Image Culture in Brussels. Her most important works in progress focus on ecological themes, such as Bee Laboratory and Urban Corridors, which installs urban laboratories and creates artistic objects built from monitoring bee colonies.