PORTO SANTO'S BIENNIAL 2007 - 4 the 31 of August


Theme for the Biennal do Porto Santo's 2007


The identity theme is the humanity's journey since pre-historic times until today's globalisation era. Taking us on a secular quest for knowledge on what it means to be a human being, In it's essence: what it defines. This creates a diversity of perspectives giving uspossibilities to open up doors to create and reflect upon.

Since the beginning, human race has asked in what way do we distinguish ourselves from other living creatures and in what way does it determine the differences. Does the fact of being a conscious being distinguish us as humans or is it that we are spiritually connected to the sacrate?

We are also social and political beings, part of a society, a specific group that contributes to a colective identity and that of the individual. In what way does a political system with its legislation and institutions, just as the definition of individual politics and its recognition by the colective social surroundings, can contribute to identity or to surpress it?

Cultural identity is another focal point. Culture constitutes an essencial factor to the colective identity of each individual references and traditions as well as in creating roots. In addition to its cultural belonging or nationality the individual has its own characteristics that form his own historical interior and exterior. These characteristics also identify and distinguish us as unique beings.

Thus, the question of identity is vast taking on a more universal concept which is also an individual concept. Crossing references can also be sexual identity, geographic identity, genetics, origins and the question of memory...

These complementary perspectives are diverse and intimately connected to the human spirit through places and time, giving us a theme that can take artists into proufond quests, rich debate and awakening of artistic creativity. This theme is a contemporary issue. We live in a era where the question of identity is problematic. Where globalisation has become a mainstream discussion, transformed into a cliché and a common place. In this way, we can certainly ponder upon the meaning of colective and individual identity.

In this global system individual identity seems to be ignored, a being lost in anonymity is trivialised and absorved by the system. Is the individual more than just a consumer, a worker, a spectator, a citizen, a simple reflexion of what the media wants the individual to be, or a fictional being living in a world where the image and virtual reality dominate? How can one be oneself?

In a contradictory way, today we have access to a greater cultural diversity but also an identity and cultural notion that seems more impoverished. A global culture can become empty of its contents. We are in fact facing an annulment of identity.
In this way, the theme of identity for this Biennial is a choice centered on present issues as a challenge: To inquire, to (re)define or to (re)interpret this concept through the arts, and in this way manifest its richness, ambiguity...and to open ways.


Translation: Gina Flor - Abril 2007