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hetero q.b.-intro

Valentim de Barros, Painting (detail), Hospital Museum Miguel Bombarda

Valentim de Barros, Painting (detail), Hospital Museum Miguel Bombarda


This programme showcases an extensive selection of video/performance works created by women from southern and eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America, which tackle feminist and queer issues (the English term queer is used internationally to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities).

It presents works by artists from countries with diverse political realities, from many different religions, cultures and social classes where feminism and gender diversity have been redefined, frequently breaking with Euro-American hegemony in terms of both thought and practice.

We have called this project hetero q.b. based on the premise that sexualities are an essential component of artistic practice and the power relations that are established between artists and institutions. The arts in Portugal are a space of exchange, negotiable and flexible… up to a point, after which it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to infiltrate it with projects that challenge, that go beyond the rules of heteronormativity. Exceptions may at time find their way through to the art world, but heterosexuality is still seen as the rule, the normative filter, hence the title: hetero quanto baste (q.b.) or ‘hetero in due measure’, and the counterproposal hetero (geneity) in due measure, in art, as in life.

The themes tackled by this programme of events are still taboo in various societies, for different reasons. Yet they are still tangible realities of our time which have generated alternative proposals within an artistic context, in addition to their divisive relevance within the moral, ethical and social organization of contemporary societies, which alone justifies our attention to the theme.

Emília Tavares and paula roush

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