Born in Lisbon, April 18th.
Attends the Physicochemical Sciences course at the Faculty of Sciences of Lisbon until 1942 but quits the bachelor's degree during the last year.
Begins his photographic production with captures of ethnographic details, popular art and sculpture, and portraits in urban contexts. In this decade his interest in the arts and in the study of popular art becomes evident.
Organizes a comparative exhibition between Modern Art and African Art during the Black Art Week at Escola Superior Colonial in Lisbon, the first of its kind in Portugal. Meets Almada Negreiros. This artist from the first generation of Portuguese Modernists becomes a steady reference from the 60s onwards, a starting point for the mixed medias Nós Não Estamos Algures and Almada, Um Nome de Guerra, and a central figure in his proposals for a new Portuguese avant-garde.
Becomes a regular collaborator at Seara Nova at the invitation of Fernando Lopes Graça. In this decade, his regular critique in this magazine, and others such as Mundo Literário, Portucale and Vértice, make him an influent defender of the neorealist movement. From the 1970s onwards, he will consider the avant-garde as the main successor of the neorealist project of an art that is participatory and necessary to transform the social context.
Founds and promotes Círculo de Cinema, one of the first film societies in Portugal. The society was closed down in 1948 by the PIDE [International Police and State Defence] with the arrest of members of the club, himself included.
Begins his filmmaking activity with the direction of documentaries and publicity short-films, mostly for Ford and Shell, which he continues over the 50s.
Moves to Paris until 1952 to become a film director. Apart from screenings in film societies and theatres he also attends history of film and filmology studies at the Sorbonne. Furthers these competences with the study of sound techniques at the French Radio Club and of cinema techniques at the studios Epinay-sur-Seine where he does an internship.
Signs reports on cinema in the magazines Shell News, Diário de Lisboa, Jornal-Magazine da Mulher and Imagem, of which he is a correspondent in Paris.
Assistant director intern at the film La Minute Vérité by Jean Delannoy.
Editor in chief at Plano Focal where he writes about cinema and photography techniques. He interviews Man Ray for this magazine.
Directs with Baptista Rosa, editor and director of Imagem, O Natal na Arte Portuguesa, on the theme of Christmas in paintings and nativity scenes, based on a screenplay he authors. The film receives the Aurélio Paz dos Reis Award.
Editor in chief at magazine Imagem until it closes in 1961. In this magazine his texts defend and settle the principles of the New Cinema [Novo Cinema]. The promotion of the film society movement in this magazine along with his active involvement in associative meetings, make him one of the most prominent film club members.
Teaches Propaedeutics of Art Technique and History at the Professional and Technical Center in Lisbon, where Eduardo Calvet de Magalhães, Orlando Costa and Sena da Silva also taught.
Runs the collection "Imagem e Som" at Editora Sequência. Publishes O Argumento Cinematográfico (1956) and A Realização Cinematográfica (1957, in collaboration with Adelino Cardoso and José Fonseca e Costa).
Represents the Portuguese film societies at the National Internship of the French Film Society Federation in Marly-le-Roy, this year and the following. Meets the Federation's president Jean Michel and the filmmakers Agnès Varda, Alain Resnais, Jacques Demy, Jacques Becker and Chris Marker.
Attends the Youth Festival in Moscow and on his return is arrested once more by the PIDE.
Writes in Seara Nova, until 1960, a series of articles about art and exhibitions where he defends the relevance of realism to the visual arts.
Adapts a short story by Leão Penedo into a screenplay for his first feature film Dom Roberto. The film is shot in the summer of 1961.
Constitutes Cooperativa do Espectador with the main goal of producing this film.
Publishes O que é o Cinema in Arcádia. Starts publishing books in Artis: Júlio Pomar (1960), Lima de Freitas (1961) and A Pintura Portuguesa Neo-Realista (1965). A book on Manuel Ribeiro de Pavia was expected but remained unpublished.
Organizes an African Art exhibition for the African Art and Folklore Week at Clube University de Jazz in Lisbon.
Dom Roberto premieres on May 30th at Cinema Império in Lisbon. The film is a turning point for the Portuguese cinema and is a forerunner of the New Cinema that would consolidate over the years following its premiere.
For about two years Ernesto de Sousa commits himself to promoting the film in Portugal and abroad.
Travels through Morocco and Algeria while the latter proclaimed its independence, in September and October, on his way to the Mannheim festival for a screening of Dom Roberto. The series of chronicles Cartas do Meu Magrebe resulted from this journey and was published this year and the following in Jornal de Notícias.
Is arrested by the PIDE on his way to Cannes Festival to attend the exhibition of Dom Roberto, due to an interview given to the newspaper Témoignage Chrétien. In Cannes, during the International Critics' Week, the film receives the Young Critics Award and the Cinema for the Youth Association Award.
Organizes the exhibition "Clay workers and Imagineries: Four Folk Artists from the North" at Livraria Divulgação in Lisbon, with Rosa Ramalho, Franklin Vilas-Boas Neto, Quintino Vilas-Boas Neto and Mistério.
Directs the Experimental Cinema Course at Cineclube do Porto in which Jorge Peixinho, Ângelo de Sousa, Armando Alves, Eduardo Calvet de Magalhães, Carlos Morais and Óscar Lopes are collaborators.
Stages the drama Awake and Sing! by Clifford Odets at Teatro Experimental do Porto, with set design by José Rodrigues and, the following year, the play O Gebo e a Sombra by Raul Brandão, with set design by José Rodrigues and Alexandra de Vasconcelos, and music by Jorge Peixinho.
Publishes the album Para o Estudo da Escultura Portuguesa in the ECMA, based on a series of notes on Portuguese sculpture published in Seara Nova between 1959 and 1961.
Receives a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, until 1968, to study Portuguese folk sculpture and produces the unpublished book O Selvagem e o Ingénuo na Escultura Portuguesa.
Teaches until 1970 the subjects of Communication Techniques, and Theater and Cinema Aesthetics in the Artistic Training Course (CFA) at Sociedade Nacional de Belas-Artes (SNBA). Adriano de Gusmão, José-Augusto França, Manuel Taínha, Rui Mário Gonçalves, Sá Nogueira, Santos Simões, José Blanc de Portugal, Fernando Conduto and Sena da Silva also taught in this course.
Makes, with his student Carlos Gentil-Homem, the Super 8 films Um Homem que Corria and Happy People, marked by his enthusiasm for experimental film. The school trip to London with CFA students, in the summer of this year, where he got in contact with experiences of this kind, was crucial in the awakening of this interest.
Creates Oficina Experimental with CFA students in order to develop experimental projects.
Collaborates with Noronha da Costa and Oficina Experimental in the planning of The Guincho Meeting.
Starts filming Almada, Um Nome de Guerra at Almada Negreiros' studio. In order to finance the film, artworks offered by artists are auctioned in Lisbon, Oporto and Aveiro, preceded by debates on the work and life of Almada Negreiros.
Directs the 16 mm short film Crianças Autistas, at Dr. João dos Santos' invitation.
Participates with the journalist Maria Antónia Palla in the Undici Giorni di Arte Colletiva in Pejo, an event organized by Bruno Munari that enabled him to come in contact with new artistic expressions. He gets acquainted with the expression "aesthetic operator", which he adopts and introduces in Portugal. This year's articles in Vida Mundial make use of this expression and others such as "anti-painting" and "anti-art".
Presents the exercise of poetic communication Nós Não Estamos Algures at Teatro 1º Acto in Algés. The following year he gets into a polemic with Mário Cesariny in A Capital due to the use of his poems in this exercise.
Admitted as member associate of the International Association of Art Critics/Portuguese Section (AICA/PS).
From this decade on, is an active participant in mail art networks, with contributions to collective projects such as I am, Galeria Ramont, 1978; Project 1978 by Robert Besson, Kyoto (shown at galeria Diferença in 1980); Views by Robin Crozier, England, 1978 and W.A.A. by Guy Bleus, Belgium, 1982, among others.
Discovers the decorative panels made in 1929 by Almada Negreiros for the hall and the façade of Cinema San Carlos, in Madrid. Transports them to Portugal with the support of Manuel de Brito.
Curator of the exhibition "Do Vazio à Pro Vocação" for Expo AICA 72 at SNBA.
Visits the 5th edition of Documenta in Kassel, commissioned by Harald Szeeman. Back in Portugal, organizes sessions about this event using his vast photographic documentation. Publishes an interview to Joseph Beuys in the newspaper A República. The experience of this Documenta was fundamental in the conception of art and avant-garde which he would intensely defend over the following decades.
Initiates the cyle YOUR BODY IS MY BODY, a title under which he groups a series of action, performances and exhibitions he will work on until 1988. The cycle includes graphic, photographic and filmic production, poetry and mixed-media pieces.
Presents the anti-conference "Da Vanguarda artística em Portugal e do mercado comum; com uma receita que contribuirá para a resolução de alguns problemas que afligem a nossa pátria (em 1972)", in a program of conferences by critics from AICA, at Galeria Dinastia in Lisbon.
Participates in the AICA congress in Yugoslavia, where he visits the "New Tendencies" exhibition in Zagreb and comes in contact with the alternative scene in Belgrade, Ljubljana and Dubrovnik. During this journey he meets the fluxus artists Robert Filliou, George Brecht and Ben Vautier in Nice. He keeps in touch with Filliou, whom he becomes friends with.
Publishes articles about the national and international artistic context in the magazines Lorenti's, until 1974, and Colóquio das Artes, until 1979.
With an idea by Robert Filliou as a starting point, he proposes and celebrates the 1'000'011th Anniversary of Art at Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra.
Curates the exhibition "Projectos-Ideias" for Expo AICA 74 at SNBA.
Publishes articles in Século Ilustrado and Vida Mundial, reflecting on the condition of art in Portugal. In the latter, while promoting international artists, he advocates the necessity of an artistic avant-garde in the context of social revolution. These articles, written during the "hot period" of the Carnation Revolution, are marked by the defense of an artistic and cultural practice with autonomy from the political power.
Presents with Jorge Peixinho the mixed media Luíz Vaz 73 at the International Mixed Media Festival of Ghent. The piece is shown in Portugal the following year.
Directs Clube-Encontro Opinião, where Artist Diplomas by Grupo ACRE are distributed, and exhibitions by Da Rocha, Pires Vieira and Yugoslavian conceptual artists, among others, are organized.
Stages Jeronimus Bosch: Um Mistério que Deixou de o Ser, with text by J. B. Vicente and performance by André Gomes, at the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon.
Participates in the AICA congress in Poland. Gets acquainted with Tadeusz Kantor's theatre and Jerzy Grotowski's Laboratory Theatre. Visits the Action and Documentation Workshop of the artist duo Kulik and Kwiek, in Warsaw.
Presents a video program at the Goethe Institut in Lisbon and Oporto, featuring artists like Alan Kaprow, Joseph Beuys, Rebecca Horn, Richard Hamilton and Wolf Vostell.
Attends the opening of the Vostell Museum in Malpartida. Meets the fluxus artist Wolf Vostell with whom he establishes a relationship of complicity and collaboration during the following years.
Presents the film Revolution My Body nr. 2 at Galeria Labirynt (LDK) in Lublin, Poland, with Fernando Calhau and Julião Sarmento.
Curator of the exhibition "Alternativa Zero" at Galeria Nacional de Arte Moderna in Lisbon, which included several parallel events and performances such as the ones by The Living Theatre.
Directs the course "Conhecimento da Arte Actual" at Galeria Quadrum in Lisbon.
Participates in the collective exhibition "O Papel como Suporte" at SNBA with the work Isto é Pintura sobre Papel. At the opening Ernesto removes his work from the exhibition, challenging the jury's decision of selecting only three of the five parts of his work. He prints a leaflet about the event. The following year, after his work Isto é Pintura n.º 6 was rejected by the jury of the exhibition "Outras Formas, Outra Comunicação" he prints another leaflet in protest.
Participates in the 1st Week of Contemporary Art Malpartida (SACOM 1) with his first solo exhibition, Tu Cuerpo Es Mi Cuerpo / Mi Cuerpo Es Tu Cuerpo.
Organizes and participates, with Leonel Moura, in the exhibition "Onze Artistas Portugueses em Milão" at Laboratorio. Alberto Carneiro, Ana Vieira, Fernando Calhau, Helena Almeida, Irene Buarque, José Conduto, Julião Sarmento and Mário Varela were also part of the show.
Collaborates with Dulce D'Agro on the annual program for Galeria Quadrum.
Presents the conference "Arte-Processo ou Artes da Acção" in the context of a program which includes performances by Gina Pane and Ulrike Rosenbach, an exhibition by Silvie and Chérif Dafroui and a video art program presented by Dany Bloch.
Presents an exhibition by the Italian artist Fernando de Filipi and a series of solo exhibitions of José Conduto, Leonel Moura, Mário Varela and Irene Buarque.
Takes part in "Un Espace Parlé", a program of exhibitions broadcast through an answering machine, promoted by Gaëtan gallery in Geneva.
Presents "A Tradição como Aventura", his first solo exhibition in Portugal, at Galeria Quadrum in Lisbon. The exhibition shares its title with that of an installation therein presented.
Directs Galeria Diferença (former Cooperativa Grafil) until 1987. Here he organizes several solo exhibitions and participates in various collective ones such as "18 × 18 Nova Fotografia", "Homenagem a José Conduto", "A Caixa", "Livro de Artista", "Celebração da Celebração" and "Diferença-Diálogo".
Publishes articles in Opção, and the column "Imaginar Portugal" in Abril.
Participates in the 2nd Week of Contemporary Art Malpartida (SACOM 2) with the performative piece Identificación Con Tu Cuerpo. Invites a group of Portuguese artists for a program of performances and actions and promotes the donation of their works to Vostell Museum permanent collection.
Organizes a retrospective exhibition of the work of Wolf Vostell at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Galeria Nacional de Arte Moderna, in Lisbon, and at Museu Soares dos Reis, in Oporto. On the last day of the exhibition at Galeria Nacional de Arte Moderna he does the first presentation of Almada, Um Nome de Guerra in an informal session with the artist João Vieira.
Presents the installation Olympia at Círculo de Artes Plásticas in Coimbra and, the following year, at Galeria Diferença in Lisbon.
Becomes member of the Internationales Kunstler Gremium (IKG), on a proposal from Robert Filliou and Georg Jappe.
Presents the video-sculpture and performance The Promised Land: Requiem for Vilarinho das Furnas in the exhibition "Arte Portuguesa Hoje" at SNBA in Lisbon. The following year he presents this work in the 3ème Symposium d'Art Performance of Lyon, organized by Orlan and Hubert Besacier.
Presents a solo exhibition at Ars Viva gallery in Berlin, by the mediation of Wolf Vostell.
Writes the collective document "Manifesto of the Lavadero" in the 3rd Week of Contemporary Art Malpartida (SACOM 3) with Fernando Pernes, João Vieira and Wolf Vostell, among other artists and critics. The document gathered statements by the participants concerning the contemporary state of the art.
Commissioner for the Portuguese representation at the Venice Biennale. Designs and participates in a collective exhibition with the theme "A Palavra e a Letra".
Presents Pre Texto 1: Numero Deus Pari Gaudet at Círculo de Artes Plásticas in Coimbra.
Presents the video To a Poet I and II at the collective exhibition "Portuguese Video Art", organized by José Manuel Vasconcelos at the Gallery of New Concepts, Iowa University.
Participates in the exhibition "25 Artistas Portugueses Hoje", commissioned by Irene Buarque at the Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo. He presents the installation A Tradição como Aventura, a text in the exhibition catalogue and a conference.
Presents the installation Pre Texto 2: After Painterly Abstraction at Galeria Diferença in Lisbon and at Círculo de Artes Plásticas in Coimbra.
Commissioner for the Portuguese representation in the Venice Biennale. Selects Helena Almeida.
Publishes Maternidade in Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, a book prepared with Sarah Affonso in 1971, featuring 26 unpublished drawings by Almada Negreiros.
Participates in the debates "Depois do Modernismo" with Eduardo Prado Coelho, Germano Celant, José Barrias and José Luís Porfírio, at the Fine-Art School in Lisbon.
Presents Ultimatum at the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York.
Publicly presents Almada, Um Nome de Guerra for the first time at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid. In this occasion, launches the book Re começar: Almada em Madrid, prepared between 1970 and 1972.
In the next year he makes presentations of this mixed-media at the Juan Miró Foundation in Barcelona and at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.
Becomes member of the advisory committee of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's Centre of Modern Art.
Takes part in the collective exhibition "Atitudes Litorais", commissioned by José Miranda Justo, at Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa.
Commissioner for the Portuguese representation at the Venice Biennale. Selects José Barrias.
Presents the installation Profanação at Cooperativa Árvore in Oporto.
Participates in the collective exhibition "10 Paintings for the year 2000", organized by Leonel Moura at Casa Varela, with Ângelo de Sousa, Julião Sarmento, Leonel Moura, Mário Varela, Pedro Proença and Cabrita Reis, among other artists.
Presents the complementary exhibitions "Antes Desse Ouro" (graffitis) and "Esse Ouro Dantes" (Alquimigramas series) at Galeria Diferença and Galeria Quadrum, respectively.
Ernesto de Sousa's retrospective exhibition "Itinerários", promoted by the State Secretariat for Culture, is presented in Lisbon at Galeria Almada Negreiros and the National Museum of Ancient Art (both commissioned by José Luís Porfírio), and at Galeria Diferença (commissioned by Leonel Moura). The exhibition was also presented in Oporto at Casa de Serralves (commissioned by Fernando Pernes). Ernesto de Sousa collaborated with Maria Estela Guedes and Fernando Camecelha in the editing of the exhibition catalogue.
Plans the inquiry project I am Innocent, which is left unfinished. The work comprised fours stages: sendind out the inquiry with the questions "Are you innocent?", "Are you guilty?" and "Whose guilt is it?", based on the Book of Job; collective sound work with friends and musicians from international centers dedicated to intermedia studies; making of a collective sculpture using video, computers and traditional means; and creation of a discussion platform on the theme and development of this work.
Plans the project Aldeia Global which proposed information exchange and network creation. It aimed to equip a large number of artists with computer material and train them into using. This network would combine a vast cultural experience acquired through traditional means with the potential of technological innovation.
Dies on October 6th.