Anniversary of Art

Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra, January 17th, 1974.
Celebration of the 1.000.011th Anniversary of Art.
Event organized by Ernesto de Sousa with the collaboration of Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra, taking on from a 1963 idea by Robert Filliou.

Participants included Alberto Carneiro, Albuquerque Mendes, Alfredo Pinheiro Marques, Armando Azevedo, João Dixo, Jorge Peixinho, Ernesto de Sousa, Isabel Alves, Teresa Loff, Túlia Saldanha, amongst others.

the party was a great success     the twenty rooms
of C.A.P. had various uses     dance     songs
games     food and drinks     relaxation etc     etc
in the main room we drew across the lenght of the
wall a translation of your poem "a whispered history of art"

at C.A.P. we had more than a thousand people
mostly young people     there was
also a group of

Brazilian college students which created a surprising moment
of samba (it had to stop because the roof of the room downstairs was about to collapse...)

a young man from Oporto
produced hundreds of paper flowers
where could be read "art is beautiful everything is beautiful"

on the train
along the 200 kms that separate Oporto from Coimbra
he distributed the flowers
to everyone he met
by chance in his journey
when he arrived
he opened in front of C.A.P.'s facade
depicting flowered fields


of course that a party like ours couldn't have
happened without contradiction
especially in my very politicized country

there were protests mostly from
Maoist youngsters and other left-wingers
protests which we obviously
greatly appreciated
sometimes the answer was dialogue
in other cases it was a chorus response
and humor and kindness
always prevailed

Ernesto de Sousa, letter to Robert Filliou, 1974.