The exhibition "Unearthing Memories" by the local Interstruct Colletive analizes the colonial legacy in the city of Porto and frames it in the present-day immaginary, composed by memories, ruins and remembrances.
It has been 85 years since the first Portuguese Colonial Exhibition (Exposição Colonial) open ist doors at the Palácio de Cristal gardens, in Porto. However, the current economic, cultural, and political establishment is still sustaining, cementing and replicating the central ideologies of the authoritarian regime that the exhibition portrayed.
Fragments from the past have the capacity to reiterate and embody collective memories, constituting the visual culture that defines the contemporary experience. Colonial relics (e.g., public monuments, street names, postal stamps, souvenirs, medallions, murals, museum collections and national archives) are contentious sites that narrate imperialist perspectives and obscure a multiplicity of power relations, cultural encounters and personal experiences.
InterStruct Collective examines these same fragmentary objects and uses them as catalysts for deconstructing History, while empowering the human subjects that were colonized in the past and are marginalized today.
The examination of Post-colonial constructions and subjectivities returns the gaze embedded within these objects through collective and interdisciplinary collaboration. Artistic praxis becomes a reflexive platform to nurture future realities. This exhibition takes a critical look at colonial legacies and frames collective memory, ruins and remembrances in the context of the city of Porto.
In paralell with this exhibition, Interstruct Collective will guide a walking tour titled “Unearthing memories - exploring contemporary conditions and formulating possible futures”. This tour is presented as part of the Porto Design Biennale satellite program.