For long, Portugal narrowly focused towards its mythical (and yet controversial) past from the golden age of the discoveries to sell itself to the world. A country full of history looking into the sea.
Today, businessmen travelling on airplanes read about Europe’s West Coast. A storybook concept related to the imagery of the American West, fulfilling the aspirations of Silicon Valley — paramount of democracy and laissez-faire development — whilst suited to the dolce far niente and tolerant image of southern Europe.
Pensioners on cruise liners read in magazines about a peaceful country with mild weather, a haven of low crime, offering benefits to the ones looking to enjoy the rest of their lives in the sun. Portugal aspires to be a sunshine state, a quiet retirement home.
Everyone wants a glimpse of the sea. Meanwhile, space is transformed. The waterfront is demolished and remodelled. Sala de Festas explores how these ambivalent concepts reverberate throughout the contemporary landscape and its human interactions.