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Artissima Questions and Answers | 2: Luís Silva and João Mourão

19 September 2017 Journal News

Second appointment with Artissima Questions and Answers. Today we are introducing you the curators of the new section Disegni: Luís Silva and João Mourão


When you were a little child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Luís Silva: So many different things. As a little boy I wanted to be an astronaut, but then, oddly enough, I became interested in being an English teacher. In my teens I wanted to be a writer and later a scientist. It wasn’t until adulthood that I became interested in contemporary art as a possible career option.
João Mourão: For a long time I wanted to be a shepherd. And for a while, during my teen years, I was one…

What made you decide to move into art?
Luís Silva: To this day I still can’t pinpoint what made me choose art as the field in which I would develop my professional activity. A lot of external factors over which I had no control, on one hand, and then a genuine interest in art’s ability to be simultaneously subjective and critical as well as its commitment to think the world otherwise.
João Mourão: Finding myself having the best moments of my life in exhibitions and spending time in the company of artists.

Which historical artist figure would you like to share a drink with and where?
Luís Silva: This is such a hard one… I don’t really know… Duchamp, perhaps? I guess in his studio in Greenwich Village.
João Mourão:  I was lucky enough to have had a drink with that historical figure already. Her name is Lourdes Castro, and she is an extraordinary artist. We had tea in her garden, in Madeira island.

Which is your favorite drawing of all time?
Luís Silva: Again, such a hard question… I would have to say Matisse’s cut outs were extremely important for me when I began my journey into the art world and still today, whenever I come across one, I still feel the same excitement.
João Mourão: I’m still searching… maybe it hasn’t been drawn yet.

Which is your favorite art book?
Luís Silva: Hmmm, this one is even more difficult… The book Thinking baout exhibitions edited by R. Greenberg, B. Ferguson and S. Nairne includes an essay titled The Exhibitionary Complex by Tony Bennett that has been fundamental to the development of my practice as a curator, so I would have to say that one, just because of that specific piece of writing.
João Mourão: It’s really hard for me to think of a favorite book since everywhere I turn I see amazing ones. A book that has kept me busy for the past couple of years, even though it doesn’t exist yet is a monograph by Pedro Barateiro I have been working on. It will be an incredible publication once it finally comes into this world.


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