‘We have the art of not really dying’, wrote Friedrich Nietzche (1844-1900) and today, contemplating a structurally scourged world, Art not only saves us, but it is also our sole perspective of eternity. In zet gallery the project where visual arts are thought and promoted in the context of the dstgroup’s backbone, the way is made by always believing that the literacy of Art is a transforming vessel of people, communities and territories, and that it is always impossible to be apathetic and to refuse change when the work of Art is everyday life, and stops being with us to be in us. In 2018 we became zet gallery. This was the change which was missing to the project and to the team that wished to be more than a platform of promotion and trading of contemporay artists. Our online platform is our showcase but it is in the gallery in Rua do Raio, and now in the public arena, that we show concepts and pose questions. In 2018 there were six exhibitions in a path which began with the photography of André Castanho Correia (born in 1988), Gabriel Tizón (born in 1973), Dimitri Mellos (born in 1970), Ricardo Reis (born in 1981), Miguel De (born in 1992) and limamil (born in 1973). BE A PHOTOGRAPHER was a sort of punch in the stomach and the first clash in the walls we wanted to destroy. With Joana de Carvalho e Silva (born in 1988) the paintwork was cinema, illusion, visible and invisible, poetry of imagined sites. We crossed. Never again would we cross artistic subjects and thinking areas, and with Paulo Neves’s sculptures (born in 1959), we also crossed the town with an ambitious exhibition which went over the walls of zet gallery, and inhabited Nogueira da Silva Museum and Congregados Basilica. We created circuits. Miguel Neves Oliveira (born in 1980), Ana Almeida Pinto (born in 1982), João Carqueijeiro (born in 1954) and Grupo em Construção (Group Under Construction), Pedro Figueiredo (born in 1974), Juan Coruxo (born in 1961), Luís Canário Rocha (born in 1986) and Raúl Ferreira (born in 1975) joined the 2018 edition of the Book Fair in Braga and in 7 CASE-BY-CASE POETRY FORMS, they idealised the artistic object stemming from poets and words. In September we slowed down our pace by showing the paintwork of Maria João Oliveira (born in 1946), André Lemos Pinto (born in 1976), Fátima Santos (born in 1983), Alexandre Coxo (born in 1987) and Sofia Leitão & Henry Nestitt (born in 1971 & born in 1969), and then we moved faster with the nineteen protagonists of SINGULAR PACE, an exhibition with which we start 2019 and which gathers propositions by young artists connected to the Fine Arts Faculty of Lisbon. We also took Cris D.K. (born in 1978), Pedro Santos Silva (born in 1980), R. Gritto (born in 1976), Raquel Felgueiras (born in 1982), André Castanho Correia (born in 1988), Florisa Novo Rodrigues (born in 1991), Lauren Maganete (born in 1970) and Elizabeth Leite (born in1982) on a trip of showrooms with which we inhabited some of our partners’ sites. It is also important to mention the artists who were featured by Helena Mendes Pereira in the magazine RUA, the articles written by Catarina Martins in Onde Ir, and the videos of artists which Vanessa Ribeiro showed the world by using social networking sites.
To destroy. To cross. To connect. To relate. To calm down. To speed up. To travel. To write. To promote. Nine verbs of our action indoors, but, in 2018, as we had already uncovered at the end of 2017, the public arena welcomed us, firstly by answering to a challenge posed by Braga’s Town Hall, which consisted of idealising a wall painting for the skatepark of the renovated Rodovia’s Sports Park. Ricardo Pistola (born in 1980) was the one in charge of our response and the drawing made by all the people who glided on that background and the extension of their body movements intensifies the pure poetry of colours and the geometric illusion created by the artist. And if in the public arena we first responded, we then posed a question and challenged the town to reflect with us on the role of Art in the context of the Circular Economy we all forsee, but that has not been accomplished yet. We started October with the ART&SUSTAINABILITY Symposium. Four artists were challenged to create works of Art with and for the town, starting from industrial, construction and demolition waste. Ana Almeida Pinto (born in 1982), Hernâni Reis Baptista (born in 1986), Miguel Neves Oliveira (born in 1980) and Rute Rosas (born in 1972) dared to make our quest wider: the works became larger and went under complex processes of production which involved several companies and dstgroup’s collaborators. After all, this was a group project which zet gallery built along with Braga’s Town Hall and the Institute of Bio-diversity (IB-S) of the University of Minho. And, with the precious help of IB-S, we were able to make the concept reach some local teaching establishments, including the Prison Establishment of Braga. ‘It was thistle, it was prose’, as the song says. Another punch in the stomach and an enormous sense of accomplishment after understanding the dimension of the work which Luís Canário Rocha (born in 1986) and Ricardo de Campos (born in 1977) undertook in the pedagogical tutorials that occurred during this syposium. There was also a debate because it was necessary to make the town and its actors talk and, in the end, the Parque da Ponte gained ‘From Time, in Space, a bridge, a plea. With or without you.’ by Rute Rosas, Bretas Roundabout, the ‘Open Windows’ by Miguel Neves Oliveira and dstgroup’s industrial and business park welcomed Ana Almeida Pinto and Hernâni Reis Baptista, who joined a legacy of over 800 pieces of which zet gallery did the inventory in 2018. While the symposium was taking place, Braga became the only Portuguese town with a work of Julian Opie (born in 1958), currently one of Britain’s most prestigious artists. At the fast pace of Teresa, which shows the affection involving Art, we rush to seize 2019, the year when, five years later, zet gallery will sail through uncharted territory to leave its mark in the unique universe of contemporary Art, always looking into the future.