Full name: Cláudia Santos Melo
Currently lives and works in Porto, Portugal
Organization: Ideias Emergentes
Areas of interest: Arts, Philosophy; Artistic interventions in public space; Discoveries in general; Humanity
Favorite books: All the poetry books by Mário Cesariny. “Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière”; George Didi –Huberman; Foucault in general; “History of Madness”, by Michel Foucault, “Contemporary Practices: Art and Experience” Paul Ardenne, Pascal Beausse, Laurent Goumarre.
Favorite films: A very hard question. I cannot specify it. Those which stay in my memory throughout the years. Sometimes I do not love a film, but I love the provocation that it can make me feel trough the photography, a character, a dialogue…. A documentary (if I may be allowed to include documentaries in this answer) that often haunts me is the documentary film by Jorge Pelicano “Pára-me de repente o pensamento“ (Suddenly My Thoughts Halt).
Applicable to all my life aspects: I can´t live without justice and freedom. As a curator, I would to think about myself as a thinker, researcher and discoverer. Also, as an aggregator and mediator. Trying to be attentive and be aware of both contemporary and historical artistic manifestations and integrate them into cooperative or individual projects that can produce other layers of reading. It is a work of relationships: human, artistic, social, political relations. Healer is not an artist, but a facilitator. And my approach should be collaborative, with a strong sense of improvement, not imposing or dominant.
Why are you a part of MagiC Carpets?
I was invited by Ideias Emergentes to participate in Magic Carpets as an emerging curator. I think it is because in my professional and personal fields, I am interested in being able to discover and offer opportunities for artistic work / collaboration / co-creation. Also, to discover new places, new communities, new ways of working and thinking in the field of art. Moreover, because I believe that linking and gathering people and knowledge is a way to think about the future, humanity empowerment and freedom.
Why have you chosen to be a curator or why has curatorship chosen you?
It was a natural process, I think. I am an artist and my professional choices and interests brought me to curatorial practices.
What do you think is the purpose of art?
A question so much hard to answer, like about the proper definition of art. I think there is no definite and absolute answer to this question. Does art have to have a purpose? For me and at this moment art is also a way of building thoughts, inseparable from life and the possibility of living.
Past projects you are proud of (before MC)?
ALUMIA (Art director) – project conceived by Porto Lazer / CMP Co-financed by community funds, under the Operational Program North 2020. The project had as motto the 20th anniversary of the classification of the Historic Centre of Oporto as World Heritage. Several programming moments were developed over six months, including several installations in the public space, resulting from invitations to artists and collectives, in the first phase, and selected by means of open call, in the second. The light, by its enormous scope of exploration, was source and process of reference in all the artistic pieces. I was responsible for art direction and coordination of the project.
SANTA CLARA- 2nd Chance – Waking Up the Sleeping Giants. I was responsible for the conception and coordination of a dynamization program that dealt with the re(knowledge) of the geographical area of Santa Clara in this project integrated in Urbact led by Porto Vivo SRU in partnership with Porto Lazer / CMP. This participation provides a creative and innovative contribution to urban development and, in particular, to the beginning of the recovery and revitalization dynamics of Santa Clara, marking it as a place to host events, artistic and creative production. The occupation of vacant spaces, the work of integration and involvement of the resident community, the attraction and the beginning of the habit of visiting new public spaces have been the essential factors to be taken into account in this process. The programme mainly focuses on the sense of belonging and participation of its inhabitants and the community, challenging the artistic community and citizens. The objectives of the program are to improve the living conditions of the residents attracting new residents. The program according to the characterization and identity of the site and the project, had the following structure: Social Mediation – Mediation between artistic interventions and communities present in the territory of Santa Clara. General recognition of the networks of relations of people, groups and institutions and their present tensions in the intervention areas; Object and space dynamization “Warehouse”- Artistic residencies and exhibitions. Workshop programs. Intervention in public space. Open call for photography: “The re (knowledge) of a place.” Promote visits and a new look on the area of Santa Clara through the photographic registry.
LOCOMOTIVA (art director). I was responsible for conceiving the urban art project and developing its programme. Project Locomotiva-Porto Destino Criativo, a project to stimulate and animate the Historic Centre of Porto presented through a partnership between Porto City Council and REFER. The project was developed from the REFER warehouses, facing the street of Madeira. Period: between December 2014 and June 2015. Application sponsored at 85 percent by the program ON.2 – O Novo Norte led by Porto Lazer/ CMP.