A Palavra e a Letra

39th Venice Biennale, Alvar Aalto Pavilion, June-September 1980.
Portuguese representation commissioned by Ernesto de Sousa.
A collective installation with the theme "The Word and the Letter".

Participants included Ana Hatherly, António Sena, E.M. de Melo e Castro, Ernesto de Sousa and João Vieira. Almada Negreiros (with a reproduction of the panel Começar) and Fernando Pessoa were evoked pionneers of the written-word. The musicians Lopes e Silva and Maria João Serrão participated in Ernesto de Sousa's video The Word and The Letter.

We decided to organize not just a mere "accrochage", but an installation on a common and rigorous theme that doesn't mute individual contributions. This theme – THE WORD AND THE LETTER – favors the written word and the sign, not only in contemporary visual arts but also as a reflection of a dynamism that possibly characterized the Portuguese social and cultural life of the last years. In this case no distinction is made between art and critique, image and sound, the musical note and its performance, sound poetry and visual poetry. This presentation is a homage to Fernando Pessoa and Almada Negreiros, pioneers of the Portuguese written-word.

Ernesto de Sousa, note, 1980s.