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Interview with curator and art critic Bruno Leitao

23.09.2020

Do you find your inspiration cross-border?
Indeed, when you travel, your senses are in high alert, and when this happens, you can choose to dismiss everything that you find unfamiliar, or you can choose to get out of your comfort zone. I prefer the latter, and I try as much as possible to empathize with different forms, traits, and problematics that you find when you travel.

Do you pay attention to what is done abroad?
It’s essential to pay attention to what is going on in other areas. I live between Lisbon and Madrid, effectively dividing my time between these two very close but very different cities, with their corresponding very different art scenes. But I also travel to other places in Europe,  but also Angola, RDCongo, Chile… I think that to understand better about one’s own local art scene, one needs to set it into perspective. I also try to find diverse approaches to similar questions.

What do you think about making the different artistic scenes meet with each other?
I consider it is essential; different scenes have different qualities. Those are especially evident when either people or exhibitions travel.

Would you as an curator be interested in discovering European artists work?
I consider it is essential; different scenes have different qualities. Those are especially evident when either people or exhibitions travel.

How is it important to you to visit galleries?
It is complementary to visiting museums and artists’ studios, and it’s very convenient because you usually the small scale of the projects. You get to meet an artist´s work in a very concise project. That is something different from what you see in museums. Also, the amount of galleries that showcase solo shows and small group shows makes for a very diverse ecosystem that not only builds on top of the museum panorama but builds on it. From the perspective of a curator this multifariousness is crucial to elaborate and mediate experiences.

According to you, what is the main benefit of curating an exhibition during a GW?
These are special moments, and there is a kind of healthy competition to display projects in the best way possible, it’s very convenient because the openings are all aligned in a short time frame. Of course, you also get more opportunities to meet fellows colleagues from other institutions and artists who will be in town for their projects or projects done by artists that they admire.

Would you like to travel on the occasion of a GW?
Certainly.

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