Ernesto de Sousa
Ernesto de Sousa (1921–1988) was a major and multifaceted figure from the Portuguese avant-garde—artist, poet, critic, essayist, curator, editor, filmmaker, and a promoter of experimental ideas and artistic expressions.
Reflecting questions of hierarchy, authorship, and the complexity of framing or dividing within the multiple and complementary practices of Ernesto de Sousa—whose motto “Your Body is My Body, My Body is Your Body” serves as a poetic manifesto—this publication explores the various aspects of his oeuvre (visual, poetical, and theoretical) and his outstanding inventiveness of concepts.
The volume brings together a selection of works, unpublished archives and their translations, and theoretical texts by Ernesto de Sousa, including the first complete translation in English of «Orality, the future of art?» (1968). Richly illustrated, the book reunites an introductory text by Lilou Vidal, two new essays by Paula Parente Pinto and by José Miranda Justo along with a text by Hugo Canoilas.
"There was a time when bread was sacred; and in a general sense, all fabricated objects deserved the respect that resulted from (for the conscience of those who used them) concretely diving into their own motivations. Human gestures, like aesthetic objects, were inseparable from their relevant functions. Naturalism prompted us to look at natural and fabricated objects with a vision that was cosmic and indifferent at the same time. The objects, today, object. In the future, objects and gestures will perhaps clothe themselves once again in their lost dignity. The word love, a bit of bread, the letter A will stop being mortal accidents of daily life. Desacralized, they will once again be as decisive as the tiniest brushstroke the painter made on his canvas. And each of these brushstrokes will reveal the structure of the world. Life can then be compared to a vast work of art. Everything will be absolutely aesthetic.."
— Ernesto de Sousa
Contributors: Hugo Canoilas, Ernesto de Sousa, Tobi Maier, José Miranda Justo, Paula Parente Pinto, Lilou Vidal