A letter signed by more than 200 artists will be presented today to the prime minister, António Costa, in Lisbon, in an alert for the "worrying situation of contemporary art in Portugal", involving markets, critics, galleries, collections, institutions and museums .
In the missive, titled "State of Art in Portugal", which will be delivered at 6:00 pm, at Palácio de São Bento, Portuguese artists request "a state fund for acquisitions, the creation of an agency for contemporary art separate from DGArtes [Direção-Geral das Artes] and urgent fiscal changes. "
The letter, which will be framed as a "symbolic offer to the Prime Minister", is signed by more than 200 artists of various generations, such as Fernanda Fragateiro, Albuquerque Mendes, André Cepeda, Carlos Noronha Feio, Maria Trabulo, João Tabarra, Jorge Molder, Gabriela Albergaria, Isabel Aboim, Julião Sarmento, Inez Teixeira, Hugo Canoilas and João Cutileiro.
Artists accuse the State of "over the years, [se] to be distant from their responsibilities, because the institutional budget dedicated to culture and, consequently, to the visual arts is scarce. "
"With the crisis of the last few years has a generation of artists been lost – or will the artists continue to emigrate for lack of solution, neither coming from the state nor from the market? It will be left to the artists – old, new, good, only the silence in survival? Frustration and resentment? Conformity and desistance? ", read the letter, released by the artist Pedro Portugal.
The signatories warn of "the 'end' of the market and the 'end' of criticism," noting that the art market in Portugal "is a fallacy."
"There is no horizon or visibility. The scale and geographical position of Portugal are the arguments when there is no cultural strategy," they criticize.
They also defend the need for "all actors who participate in this arena, artists, curators, gallerists, institutions, critics and other agents to be more demanding and play an active part in the decision-making structures of the State."