In an attempt to create a serious and profound documental panorama of the ever growing issues of poverty in Portugal, this exhibition – through its curators, researchers and artists – assumed the important role of putting in evidence the social consequences of the political shifts from a socially centred economy aiming to eradicate exclusion, to a fierce ultraliberal state that quickly demonstrates its tendency to negatively impact a significant part of society, generating alerting phenomena of disintegration and disbelief.
After designing its newspaper, the exhibition catalogue presented itself as a bigger challenge. It consists of a mixture between long academic essays and a highly diversified body of visual materials. We’ve decided to sequence them through interconnected sections in order to create an unified narrative, instead of separating all the texts from their image counterparts.
The essays are divided in three different blocks: 1. Social Problem; 2. Political Answer; 3. Cultural practice; and were treated with a twisted layout in which the usual text hierarchies are reversed – what one usually expects to be displayed in a serif typeface appears in a bold grotesk font, and the same happens the other way around – supported by text notes on top of the page and, occasionally, integrating related imagery.
The image sections go through different moments: from the assembly of the exhibition; to an historic and iconographic timeline made with collected archive images and newspaper clips; a catalogue of the artwork on display through the exhibition; and finally a section of its disassembling.
The overall graphic tone of the book is straight, harsh and clear, but still managing to never become too bold throughout its 600+ pages. It aims to make the reader navigate through an active intellectual journey, providing different moods and enough challenges to generate a process of questioning regarding the current situation of the country, the lessons we can take from its history and past, and most important, the evident need for action and change in order to shape a better and fairer future.
This is part of a very limited edition of the book, that will hopefully be released as a larger edition in the near future.