On the definition of POLDRA
"POLDRA, noun (…); See Alpondras.
Alpondras; noun, plural (corruption of bridge and rock with the article al from the arabic) walkways, stones that are placed across a river [or water way] for the comfort of people; commonly known as poldras."
(in Diccionário da Língua Portugueza de Eduardo de Faria. 4ª Edição Refundida, correcta e augmentada em grande número de termos antigos e modernos, por D. José Maria de Almeida Correia de Lacerda – Deão da Sé Patriarcal de Lisboa. Lisboa, 1859)
One of the possible meanings of “POLDRA” – despite being a term more suited to specific local uses – is “rock”. One of the multiple rocks/stones that constitute a bridge, of a sort, across rivers or waterways. At a time [the present one] of simultaneous territorial abandonment [inland Portugal, for instance] and occupational increase [at and in cities, built of rock and concrete]; one can acknowledge the ever-mounting need and importance of Natural and Native Space where to build and to be built. That Space from where the incentive for human settlement had begun. A city was, before all else, a “free” territory which allowed for an ecosystem to be developed upon. It was then a geography with a human component; a new ecosystem developed from the initial one. And so on, in succession, up until one other – divers or simply distinct – may come and replace the previous, ancestor to it.
This project, at a time of global cities, intends to be an element to help build bridges. The first of which between the city of Viseu (Portugal) and its surroundings, including its Natural traits and derived human interpretations – by means of an artistic language. The second of those bridges, between historic constructs and contemporary add-ons, open to all, in particular to those who will become the agents of a near future.
Lastly, as a guiding premise, to be a bridge between distinct geographies; between Viseu and its surroundings; and further, wider, dynamic, and eco-aware geographies and cultures. It intends to be a bridge; one of the possible bridges. Or simply one the POLDRAS, one of the stones of a more global bridge, across the gap between margins.
The Organizing Committee wishes to thank and acknowledge, all those who, institutional or individually, helped this challenge to get underway…
POLDRA – Public Sculpture Project Viseu, is set to contribute to the creation of a public art and sculpture route, in the city of Viseu. For each year and edition, up to 3 new works are to be integrated into the route – that are set to be part of the exhibit for a period of around 18 months – allowing for multiple editions to overlap and communicate.
Joining the invitation works, there will be an international Open Call (starting late 2018 and allowing for POLDRA 2019 to incorporate the first work derived from this process) that aims more at institutional and experience practice sharing and allowing for new artists to be able to create for public space specifically.
The conference programme is aimed at bringing artists, curators, researchers, and public authorities, close to the core of the debate concerning Public Art and how it is or should be looked upon (in 2019, the first POLDRA TALK of the year, will be led by the Portuguese curator João Silvério).
During 2019 and alongside the public conferences (for all audiences and set in Viseu) its conceptual and practice dimensions will be made available to other publics (selected audiences) and cities. Of those with a set date, the most relevant is a Conference set for Lisbon, on the 15th of April 2019, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
The “Junior Curator” programme will also be continued, marked by a strong link to young children and their unfiltered – at times – view of what “things are”, regarding concepts and executions. Allowing for guided visits and post-visit work sessions, where they will be able to produce their own artworks or views on the art they have been in contact with (within a classroom setting).