Arte-Público in Mil Folhas

Throughout 2001 Mil Folhas (a Público newspaper culture magazine) presents every week, in its centre pages, projects specially made by visual artists. The initiative that is called arte-Público (art-public) also includes the collaboration with some of the most important exhibitions of the year like Squatters, First Story, and Edifício Feminino/ Novas Narrativas para o Século XXI - both integrated in the official program of Porto 2001 - and URBANLAB BIENAL DA MAIA_2001. The works conceived for this supplement will be reunited in an exhibition that will happen in 2002 in the library of the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum, in Porto.

In the central pages of this week, arte-Público presents a work by Susana Mendes Silva, born in 1972, in Lisboa. The work of the artist, Público (Centerfold), must be seen as a proposal for reflection about the original, unique character of the work of art. Walter Benjamin dedicated some pages of his analysis about the technical reproducibility of the work of art to this question. The problem posed in Susana Mendes Silva project is central to arte-Público intentions: after all, can the creations presented weekly in Milfolhas be considered as original works of art or by the fact of being in a newspaper with seventy six thousand copies they loose that quality and gain another status, maybe more democratic?

Another characteristic of Susana Mendes Silva work is self-referentiality - the appearance of the work is the one of a label that can be seen in any exhibition or catalogue, however the data that form the project refer to the place where this is inserted. The artist was aware of the support of her proposal - a daily newspaper - but also of the readers expectancy about what is being offered: a work of art.

Susana Mendes Silva is one of the names for URBANLAB BIENAL DA MAIA_2001, that is opened in the next 8th of June. The artist will present a new work called Vertigo (Prevention).

Óscar Faria
19th May 2001