Graffiti and everything around will be featured at the LU.CA theatre in Lisbon, starting Friday, under the “Why do we draw on the walls?” Cycle, which includes a show with rap and lives digital drawing.
The cycles, under the responsibility of the designer António Jorge Gonçalves, at the invitation of the director of LU.CA – Teatro Luís de Camões, was designed for adolescents, “a black hole of the schedules” of the theatres. For the designer, graffiti is a theme that “refers to several issues“, which he attempts to explore in this cycle.
“We usually think only ‘scribbles: is it vandalism or art?’ But the truth is that not only is the practice of drawing on the walls extremely old, as old as human culture, as graffiti raises a number of questions that have to do with the way we fill the city, how we are represented or not in the city, how urban space is organized, who organizes it and in what way, “he said.
“Graffiti is also a language that is closely linked to an idea of the counterculture, which is a practice that we will find in many other declinations, many of them using graffiti to express themselves.”
António Jorge Gonçalves joined the MC (Master of Ceremonies) and activist Flávio Almada (LBC Soldjah) and together they created “Válvula“, “a spectacle around the history of graffiti, which is simultaneously a hip-hop concert. ”
In “Válvula“, António Jorge Gonçalves tells the story of graffiti, while drawing digitally, being the result projected on the stage. In some heights gives voice to LBC Soldjah, that ‘rappa’, in Creole, themes created for the spectacle, making a connection with what is being told.
As an example, shortly after António Jorge Gonçalves recalled that graffiti “began in neighbourhoods to give voice to forgotten communities”, Flávio sings the saga of a poorly paid Mason, who wakes up early to catch the transport to Lisbon for “more a day of work, another day of exploration. ”
Flávio Almada recalled that “within hip-hop culture, like graffiti, rap also appeared in a group of people who had no voice in public space.”
When ‘rapa’, Flávio Almada does it in Creole. “Singing in Creole is a way to mark the presence and show that this country has several sounds, various tonalities, various realities,” he said, noting that “the Cape Verdean Creole language in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area is perhaps the third spoken and Creole rap is a very strong movement. ”
The MC and activist recall something “that passes in an invisible way through the city [of Lisbon]“: “young rappers who recorded, without great technical conditions, but have more views [through social networks and YouTube] and adhesion than artists with a machine behind. ”
Beginning to retreat twenty or thirty thousand years, the narrative goes through the time of the Vikings, the Roman Empire, the Mexican muralists or the post-April 25, 1974 in Portugal. One also hears to speak in Basquiat, Keith Harring, Banksy or Portuguese Nomen.
In addition, in “Valve“, the public is also reminded that everyone already made graffiti, because everyone was already a child and drew on surfaces where they should not.
And because the name of the cycle “can be both an affirmation and a question“, during the show António Jorge Gonçalves raises several questions, such as whether, today, the paintings will not serve also for the authorities to disguise problems in some areas of cities.
In addition to “Válvula”, with performances starting on Friday, “Why We Draw on the Walls” also includes an installation/exhibition, “I’ve Been Here – A Graffiti Story from A to Z“, organized and designed by António Jorge Gonçalves, “which brings some aspects about the history of graffiti that are covered in the show, but also brings others that are not,” and “is a different way of looking at the subject.” The installation/exhibition can be visited from Friday until February 10.
The cycle also includes a workshop, “Ephesian Drawings“, by António Jorge Gonçalves, on the “live digital drawing method” and on the experience that the designer has developed since 2001 of “performative drawing on walls“. There will be a workshop for families this Saturday and another for schools on Tuesday.
For February 9, there is a talk with the theme “City and Disobedience“, in which António Jorge Gonçalves and Flávio Almada, writer and screenwriter Nuno Artur Silva, researcher Ricardo Campos and the founder of Wool – Covilhã Arte Urban and the project Lata 65 Lara Seixo Rodrigues.
“We will debate representation through graffiti, graffiti as a way of representing people and groups, often in their origin people and groups that did not have much voice in the public space, who use graffiti precisely as a voice,” explained António Jorge Gonçalves.
More information about the cycle “Why do we draw on the walls?” can be consulted at www.lucateatroluisdecamoes.pt.