Anozero'19 - Coimbra Biennial of Contemporary Art - «THE THIRD BANK»


Santa Clara-a-Nova Convent (Coimbra) | Until 29 December 2019

© Jorge das Neves/AnoZero’19

In “Coimbrismo” coexist drawings published in “Why I’m Still a Communist”, by Pedro Pousada, and a revisited architectural model of the “Cidade Universitária”, intervention by the Estado Novo at Alta de Coimbra (Cottinelli Telmo/Cristino da Silva). The fascist traces of this design, never fully realized, are immersed within 4 murals of a contemporary communism purposed through fragmented and disruptive images. Coimbra is in “Coimbrismo” a place for retro-projections; the fascism and the communism of the 20th century as phantasmagorical presences.


“Coimbrismo” reveals a rereading of the architectural model of the “Cidade Universitária” aiming to underline the monumental and fascist traces of the intervention – which construction did not fulfill the Mussolinian model – in coexistence with expanded drawings by Pedro Pousada, published in “Why I’m Still a Communist” (Stolen Books, 2019), where image is a vehicle of political thinking. “Cidade Universitária” reemerges in a unitarian, clear and functionalist tone, tinged by the red and apocalyptic coloration of the drawings by Pedro Pousada.

The return of fascism in a model and communism in drawing – the fascism in architecture, the communism in graphic design – defines a “Coimbrismo”: Coimbra is the place where both specters resided; as the heart of the regime and the space of resistance.

This spectrality is summoned by accentuation: the model returns to the imagination of a classic, plastic and enlarged architecture as the definition of the Portuguese Empire; the murals redraw an agit prop without propaganda; a constructivism without the spirals; a neo-realism without the real.

A crucial time of the 20th century projected to the 21st century: a luminous fascism; a fragmented communism.

“Coimbrismo” is “A Third Bank”.

Jorge Figueira
Bruno Gil

Drawings “Why I’m Still a Communist”
Pedro Pousada

Architectural Model “Cidade Universitária” revisited (Cottinelli Telmo/Cristino da Silva)
Cláudia Ribeiro
Hugo Silva
André Santiago
Renato Leal

Special thanks:
Nuno Rosmaninho, José António Bandeirinha, João Paulo Martins

Centro de Estudos Sociais UC
Departamento de Arquitetura FCTUC

Activity within the research project (EU)ROPA – Rise of Portuguese Architecture, Centre for Social Studies, financed by FEDER – Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional através do COMPETE 2020 – Programa Operacional de Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030492.

[Oficial website Anozero'19 - Coimbra Biennial of Contemporary Art - «THE THIRD BANK»]