To Pessoa and Saramago: a poetry homage by Opiemme in Lisbon, Portugal.17 de janeiro, 2019
Concurrently with the beginning of the literary festival Os Dias do Desassossego (translated: The Days of Unrest, which is inspired by the homonymous masterpiece written by Bernando Soares, one of Fernando Pessoa’s heteronym) that takes place every year in Lisbon in late autumn, Italian artist and street poet Opiemme was invited to pay homage to the two poetic figures to whom the whole event is dedicated: Fernando Pessoa and José Saramago.
The festival, intensely desired by Casa Fernando Pessoa, a cultural center born with the purpose to honor the famous portuguese poet, and José Saramago Foundation, a private cultural institution founded in 2007 by the writer himself with “the aim of protecting and promoting the Declaration of human rights, the promotion of culture in Portugal and around the world and the defense of the environment “, always begins on November 16th (birth date of J. Saramago) and ends on November 30th (the day of F. Pessoa’s death). During the 15 days of the festival, the artistic program includes the realization of staged readings, music events, interviews with writers, litarary tours and urban art interventions in various locations around the city. This year, in particular, is a very important recurrence because they celebrate 20 years from the assignment of the Nobel Prize for Literature for José Saramago (1998) and the 130 years since Pessoa’s birth ( June 13, 1888).
It is not the first time that Opiemme collaborates with literary foundations, a past example was the mural dedicated to the poet Wisława Szymborska on a big wall in the city of Gdansk, Poland.
Opiemme’s tribute was painted on a large façade in Rua do Patrocínio 110, Campo de Ourique district, the same neighborhood where Pessoa spent his last fifteen years of life. The artwork was promoted by the Municipal Chamber of Lisbon and realized with the aid of Gau _ Galeria di Arte Urbana _, a project who support the creation of an open air museum located along the streets of the capital.
Thanks to his minimal and precise style, the artist created an exquisite and refined work, through wich, with reverence and simplicity, he left his unique mark on the streets of these great poets’ hometown. The transposition on the wall of some aphorisms, has given life to a calligram whereby the immortal words of the authors have blossomed under a new form, in front of the carefull eyes of citizens and tourists, thus adding a tone of magic to a city that already emanates poetry and magnificence in every corner.
And that’s how Álvaro de Campos’ words ( another Fernando Pessoa’s heteronym) from his poem “Lisbon Revisited” lean gently on the wall, fit together with the others, dance with those of Saramago and whisper to the cypresses right in front there, suggesting that memory is something to keep always alive and burning.
Photos sent by the Artist and José Frade/EGEAC and stay tuned with us for more news from worldwide street art scene.
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