5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms

 The project 5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms puts together the students’ final projects of the first edition of the Curatorship Lab, in the frame of the international MA and PhD programme in Culture Studies of The Lisbon Consortium.

For the past 7 years, The Lisbon Consortium has housed one of the world’s leading graduate programmes (ranked #3 by Eduniversal Worldwide Best Masters Ranking in Arts and Cultural Management) dedicated to the study and advanced training in the multidisciplinary field of Culture Studies as well as the professional integration of students. This collaborative network brings together theory, applied research, cultural programming and management.

Based upon an innovative training model and collaborative effort between academic and cultural institutions, such as the cooperation established with Carpe Diem Arte & Pesquisa in the frame of 5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms, the Programme operates through epistemological reciprocity, demonstrating how cultural practices illuminate critical reflection.

The Curatorship Lab, in the frame of this Programme, is poised to account for artistic production and circulation in light of contemporary subjects of inquiry such as globalisation; spatial politics; new institutionalism; social practice; art and conflict; and arts based research. Seen through the lens of curatorial practices, the vectors of such inquiry based approach take on real specificity, aiming for a firm foundation for a series of 5 experimental projects, by 5 contemporary artists – João Biscainho, Luísa Jacinto, Miguel Palma, Paula Prates, and Teresa Braula Reis, in the field.

Emphasising the interrelatedness of practice and discourse, the Curatorship Lab curriculum encourages alternative interpretations of artistic, institutional, and cultural histories. With 5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms, which take the shape of solo exhibitions at the Universidade Católica’s campus and at Carpe Diem Arte & Pesquisa, a series of orchestrated parallel programmes and a publication, students and artists aim to generate an engaged investigation into the stakes and claims for curatorial practices.

While believing contemporary art is best grasped in counterpoint with its historical precedents and antecedents, the Curatorship Lab programme recognises the social role of art and its imbrication in other systems such as economy and politics. 5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms reflects precisely the charting of various trajectories of art’s conception, creation, distribution, display and mediation, interrogating and theorising the character and role of art in our contemporary times.

The engagement of all students with the artists, the Director and curators at Carpe Diem Arte & Pesquisa, the University’s staff, as well as other curators and researchers has been core to develop an ambitious, scholarly investigation of topics of importance to past and present art, and to contextualise various aspects of curatorial practices in societal terms.

In this context, it is imperative to praise the true commitment, work and dedication of all artists and students in the preparation and installation of all project rooms as well as in putting together a publication and a parallel programme with wonderful speakers, which, together, write a constellation of interconnected ideas providing a sustained platform for dialogues around art and cultural histories and configuring possible future endeavours.


Lisbon, January 2017

Luísa Santos

Gulbenkian Professor (The Lisbon Consortium, CECC, FCH-UCP)


Culture, Communication and the Arts

Communication and Culture are fields of interaction which relate to each other in multiple ways. On the one hand, culture is performed through communication and, on the other hand, communication is built upon and shaped by culture. From its very beginning ten years ago, the Research Center for Communication and Culture (CECC) has therefore pursued a strategy of enhancing the potential of this relation. CECC’s research lines address the central matters in which culture and communication affirm its paradigmatic function in contemporary society. Such issues include concerns of media and mediation as well as social, political and technological contexts. In many instances, culture and communication can be understood through the concept of translation, not just in the sense of language, but in a comprehensive understanding of cultural change. Therefore, contemporary research on culture necessarily includes both its mental and its social dimension, relating such an endeavor to the field of cognition and wellbeing as well as to creativity and citizenship. Art and artistic production have always been the field in which mental and social effects materialize and express themselves, hence building the privileged objects of study in CECC’s research.

Following the implications of its research interests, CECC has aimed at establishing productive relations to other actors in the field. The Lisbon Consortium, created in 2010, has been a crucial instrument to enhance CECC’s impact not only in terms of research, but also on the level of cultural collaboration. The Lisbon Consortium is a partnership between the Master’s and Doctoral Degree Programs in Culture Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal and prestigious institutions in Lisbon, including Lisbon Municipality, Gulbenkian Foundation, Culturgest, Orient Foundation, Cinemateca, the National Theater Museum or the National Center for Culture, EDP Foundation and Millennium Foundation. The aim of this network is to promote the advanced training in the multidisciplinary field of Culture Studies as well as the professional integration of students. This collaborative network brings together theory, applied research, cultural programming and management. The Lisbon Consortium is structured in accordance with four fundamental principles: inter-institutional cooperation, excellence in research, creativity and cultural entrepreneurship and social responsibility in the production of knowledge. The Lisbon Consortium is a unique and innovative cooperation program with an international focus.

One of the outstanding initiatives of the Lisbon Consortium has been the “Culture@work” project, co-funded by the Culture Program of the European Union, which aimed at developing an international platform for the circulation of artistic work and for the collaborative training of professionals in the cultural sector. One of the main goals of the project has been to deepen transnational perspectives on high level practice-based training by promoting an intellectual and artistic exchange with established and emerging artists.

By focusing on the arts, CECC does not only aim at a better understanding of artistic practices and processes. CECC recognizes the arts as a proper way of research and meaning production which allows addressing those dimensions of contemporary society that science, academia and scholarly tradition are not able to grasp or even tend to neglect and to reject. In this sense, and supporting artistic research, CECC does not take art just as an object of study but as a proper means of studying culture and communication. The insights created by the arts enhance the understanding of the present and the challenges of the future. Knowledge produced by the arts is a necessary component to come to terms with the continuous dynamics of culture and communication.

The Curatorship Lab and 5/5: 5 artists, 5 project rooms are the concrete expression of CECC’s and The Lisbon Consortium’s compromise to foster collaboration and understanding. Luísa Santos, our distinguished Gulbenkian Professor, her students of our MA and PhD in Culture Studies, our project partner Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa and the artists João Biscainho, Luísa Jacinto, Miguel Palma, Paula Prates and Teresa Braula Reis allow for a new experience in which academia and the arts meet in a fruitful way.

Peter Hanenberg

Director Research Center for Communication and Culture (CECC)