The Faces of EXD’11 feature spotlighted people related to the biennale throughout its duration. For the final week, we enquired the biennale team about their views and experience of EXD’11.

What brings you to Lisbon?

MC: I’ve been living in Lisbon for 4 years and applied to be an exhibition assistant here after being told about EXD’11 and the call for volunteers. So I was working in MUDE, assembling the Useless? exhibition, when Vera [Sachetti] invited me to be the international communication assistant after she saw my work in blogging and social media. I did both jobs until the biennale started, then permanently moved to the communication department.

SoB: I was born in Lisbon and have always lived here. I ended up in (experimenta) in 2008, after being invited by Rui Otero, Carla Cardoso and Tiago Baptista at the opening night of a project of theirs, a lost house.

MR: I was in Lisbon already, I was working at a design group when I realised it wasn’t the type of agency or work I wanted to be involved in. I was looking for something new  when the opportunity to work at (experimenta) came up, in February 2003, and stayed after an interview with Guta [Moura Guedes] and Pedro Gadanho.

LS: I came to Lisbon for (experimenta), I’d just closed my design company in Caldas [da Rainha], CalDesign, and received an invitation from Carla [Cardoso], who knew about my situation and experience in this type of work.

AA: After being born in Angola, I moved to Lisbon in 1977. When I was told (experimenta) was hiring and sent my application, I received a call from Sara [Battesti] to come to an interview with Sara [Battesti] and Rute [Paredes], and started working here in March 2011.

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Useless! What a perfect topic for someone like me, who for years have been proposing things without function to an incredulous market! When we made Buildings of Disaster, souvenirs devoted to architectural sites of human tragedy, we’ve emphasized that they were objects of design, not sculptures.

“But what is their function, how do they work?” To answer these doubts, early on I coined the expression “fuzzy function”. It is fuzzy because it is unclear. Surely you would not use them to hammer nails into a wall. Our objects were made to fulfill an immaterial need, to become metaphysical containers where the owners could put in their own meanings and emotions.

Fourteen years later, thousands of these miniatures have been sold, coveted by collectors and owned by museums. Somewhere along the way, people have warmed up to the idea that the very notion of function may need to be re-defined.

Constantin Boym

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EXD’11 came to a close on November 27th, but there was still a lot of work to be done disassembling the exhibitions, tangents and interventions that took Lisbon’s creative community by storm through the last two months. We visited the Fernando Brízio: Inhabited Designs exhibition and the Lounging Space to bring you some photographs of the disassembly in progress.

Fernando Brízio: Inhabited Designs

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EXD’11 ended yesterday, after a grand opening week replay and closing party. Through its two months of duration, the biennale presented Lisbon with a dynamic programme of talks and lectures, exhibitions, urban interventions, film screenings, parties and over 75 tangents. Five of these are still on after the biennale’s end, and you may still see more of EXD’11 until 22 January 2012. We hope you enjoy the last edition of the blog’s weekly cultural suggestions and don’t miss any of these great contents.

What: Colisões – The Films of Robert Breer Film Cycle
When: 10 – 30 November
Where: Cinemateca Portuguesa | R. Barata Salgueiro, 39 1269-059 Lisboa
+ Info: EXD’11 Website


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Everyone has a unique take on the USELESS theme, and a personal view of the biennale’s exhibitions, tangents, interventions and events. We’d like to see the biennale through your camera lens, so we invite you to share your personal outlook on the EXD’11 Flickr Pool. The best photo will be selected weekly and rewarded with USELESS prizes.

USELESS? An Exploded View

Know more about the USELESS? exhibition on the EXD’11 website.
And don’t forget, you may submit your photos of the biennale until 27 November on the EXD’11 Flickr Pool.

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