Dear Yichiu,

here's our reply to your questions.
soon you'll receive the images and it's captions list by
please let us know when published
André and Mauro


1. The origin:
What made you start A certain lack of coherence? Why did you choose this location and what was its function?

2. The activity:
What kind of works have you done with this space? What was the most identifying moment of it and why?

3. The environment:
What's the relationship of this space and the city? What makes the space stand as it is now?


A Certain Lack of Coherence follows a recent tradition of artist run spaces in Porto. The reason behind the project is our will and a belief on self-organized structures. Naming the project after Jimmie Durham’s book was an indirect way to quote his article “Artists must begin helping themselves” and bring awareness, poetics and freedom as tools to deal with the real. In early 2008 Porto’s city centre was empty, it’s population ageing and it’s night comparable to a ghost city. It’s location on a popular neighborhood and in a building with poor conditions (humidity, water leaks, no ventilation and a bad electricity system) is a way to challenge artists and their productions to face this reality.

For a few years closed, the space was once restaurant and later a bazaar run by an Indian emigrant. Opening again this old shop’s door and revealing a succession of five continuous rooms, with no windows nor vertical walls and covered with varied textures, was like revealing a cave in the city and allowing the “art community” - so often used to the whitest walls and sleekest floors - to get to know this reality. Note that there are people living on the top floors of the same building.

The space has always seduced us by what it is, not by what it could be turned into. This way, we’ve never made transformations other than the ones needed by the artists. We do the same with cleaning. Here textures change slowly:  either if we’re talking about a fungus growing or a wall being painted white. It’s not only laziness. How can one act in such a context – the gallery space or the popular neighborhood – without introducing an immediate and radical change? We want to play with local knowledge and history.

Within the same time span the context has changed and in 2014 adjacent streets became city’s nightlife area and local business shifted to restaurants, bars and gourmet shops. More and more tourists arrive every day.

Pointing an identifying moment in our exhibitions history goes against what we've always aimed at. Our project and our relation with art is only definable by the diversity of our programme with all its unity or contradictions. Local, national, international, young, mid-career, old but fresh, unknown, established or famous artists have taken part in this project, always with equally high commitment.

A Certain Lack of Coherence has an impact, albeit small, on the closest local community. This was anchieved together with confidence and loyalty. The art community (either local or international) is involved and aware.
The space stands on it’s own. Its structure is organic and anti-professional, there is no formal or legal identity and it runs on the lowest possible budget. Again, only our will can bring an end to this project. Well, also the new landlord has a certain hand.

André Sousa and Mauro Cerqueira,
May 2014

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