MEP is a project coordinated by MAG - Marques de Aguiar, a Porto-based office with 25 years of practice developed from the legacy of architect and urban planner Manuel Marques de Aguiar. It positions itself as the anchor project of Experimenta Paisagem, with the long-term goal of promoting integrated and sustainable development in the interior.
The programs and assets of MEP foster the encounter with the culture of the people in these places through contemporary artworks in the landscape, trails, routes, and moments of conversation and celebration that communicate the shared heritage with residents, enthusiasts, and visitors.
#2 Cortiçada Art Fest / 2023
#1 Cortiçada Art Fest / 2021
2019-2020 Cortiçada Art Fest Route
Pilot project of the museum with the first edition of the Cortiçada Art Fest, the creation of the first 3 artworks in the landscape (Farol dos Ventos, Moongate, and Veil), workshops, discussions, exhibitions, and community engagement.
A conversation channel about the future of the interior of Portugal with artists, architects, chefs, art critics, landscapers, nature enthusiasts, and Beiras enthusiasts. An open window to strengthen people's engagement during the pandemic..
Conversations and reflections on Territory Transformation Processes and Contemporary Creation and Territory that took place at the National Culture Center in Lisbon, as part of the Culture in Chiado Week.
2020-2021 Waterlines Art Route
A route of intense community involvement in the creation of two artworks in Proença-a-Nova (Menina dos Medos and Magma Cellar), the museum's first cultural trail, and the creation of the #texturasdexisto brand image.
Bilateral initiative with architects Sami Rintala (Norway) and Camilo Rebelo (Portugal), which brings together artists, students, architects, and citizens in the search for new solutions for the use of wood and cork in Portugal and Norway.
A selection of stories that help us understand the landscape beyond its static photography and lead us to comprehend the variety of lives and experiences that have shaped and continue to shape a territory struggling against depopulation.
European project with 17 international partners that develops various areas of the museum, including the creation of 2 new artworks, academic research about the region, and cultural mediation through new educational programs and events.
Contemporary creation, community involvement, and territorial development
MEP is part of Experimenta Paisagem, a territorial transformation project anchored in the methodology and curation developed by MAG - Marques de Aguiar. This project aligns the different stages of creation with the active engagement of communities, discovering how to contribute case by case to the needs and aspirations of the people who inhabit the intervened places.
Through the creation of a permanent art collection, visitor challenges and trails, and programming, MEP promotes the deepening of this essential curatorial dimension - the involvement of people who inhabit, care for, study, or invest in the territory. This is a structured process involving a network of public, private, and research partners, aiming for the gradual realization of the Experimenta Paisagem Manifesto.
The Art Landscape Routes – Cortiçada and Water lines – are a Manifesto for change in the Landscape:
1. Each art work signals a specific place in the landscape, both geographically and culturaly.
2. In these Public Art interventions, each art work is a creation routed in the place characteristics, in the memories and aspirations of its inhabitants.
3. The contemporary creation dialogues with the cultural and geographical landscape, intensifying its aesthetic enjoyment.
4. The involvement of people and places, from creation to the art work delivery, is a long term instrument of development, both economic, social and territorial.
5. The art landscape routes' access are free and democratic and include the inhabited landscape experience with their art works.
6. The art landscape routes promote the reencounter between communities and their territory, opening new perspectives of attracting people to these territories and evolving landscape qualities.
A collective Manifesto of Marta Aguiar, Mariana Costa and Sofia Marques de Aguiar
Cortiçada Art Landscape Route, 2019/2020
Water Lines Art Landscape Route, 2020/2021
Experimenta Paisagem is structured around a method that aligns different phases of creation with the effective involvement of communities, discovering on a case-by-case basis how to contribute to the needs and aspirations of the people who inhabit the intervened places.
The first 3 artworks of MEP, inaugurated in 2020, make up the Cortiçada Art Fest Route and were created by the collective MAG - Marta Aguiar and Mariana Costa - with Sofia Marques de Aguiar, in an intense process of community engagement initiated in 2019. Thus, the artworks Moongate in Oleiros, Farol dos Ventos in Proença-a-Nova, and Véu in Sertã came into being. In 2021, two more permanent artworks were inaugurated in the landscape of Proença-a-Nova. Menina dos Medos in Sobral Fernando and Magma Cellar in Cunqueiros are part of the Waterway Pathway.
In 2026, MEP will incorporate 7 artworks in the landscape and 7 cultural trails. The creation and installation of two new permanent artworks will be carried out using the Experimenta Paisagem method, involving an intensive analysis of the places and engagement of the people who inhabit and know the territories. One will be located in Atalaias in Pedrógão Grande, designed by the office KHBT, based between Berlin and London, and another in Salvaterra do Extremo in Idanha-a-Nova, designed by the YOKYOK studio, based in Paris.
At this moment, the museum features 5 artworks, 2 cultural routes, and one trail that can be visited for free by everyone.
Territorial development by the MAG - Marques de Aguiar Architecture and Urbanism team.
Between 2019 and 2021, the Experimenta Paisagem project promotes the transformation of the landscape, which had been affected by recurrent wildfires, into a landscape for enjoyment through the sharing, communication, and representation of its cultural and natural values. The simultaneous enhancement of tangible and intangible heritage is realized through the creation of two Art in the Landscape routes, Cortiçada and Waterway, as a manifesto for changing the landscape of the Pinhal Interior in Portugal. The 5 contemporary artworks signal and enhance the geographical and cultural heritage of landscape locations by providing free and democratic access to the experience and enjoyment of intensified cultural landscapes through these works.
The involvement of people and places, from the creation to the delivery of the artworks, is an instrument for long-term economic, community, and territorial development. Promoting the reconnection of communities with their territories opens up new prospects for population retention and the development of heritage values.