Workshop 4 Art Fascículos from 23 to 26 with Miguel Palma

“I invite students to develop ideas and to carry them out before it is too late”. Miguel Palma

Among the Portuguese artists from his generation, Miguel Palma is the one who has achieved the most international fame.

The workshop will begin with a visit to the exhibit hosted by the CGAC, Miguel Palma: Modern Discomfort, where the artist himself will also be present. His career encompasses this set of works, which include videos, drawings, performances and complex engineering installations, through which Palma formulates concepts such as failure, progress, destruction or degeneration, to challenge the idea of a technological society that is modern and supposedly advanced.

Many of his works are scale models that reveal a reality that is manipulated and subverted. They are facsimiles of today´s fast-moving and out of control world, that aesthetically, however, exude an air of nostalgia that is closely linked to the history of his country, to his childhood memories and to his personal life, and that are reminiscent of a former time when machines were regarded with the innocence and enthusiasm awakened by that which is new. His devices reveal part of his operating system with the clear intention of showing how things work, of discovering their essence and getting the public to understand the full structure of the works. He attempts to move away from this tendency towards the specialisation that was established by modernity, where assembly lines divided into airtight compartments generally kept operators and users ignorant of products and concepts.

He is interested in work areas that are not directly related to artistic production. His activity mingles with that of sculptors, artists, electricians, engineers, scientists... and contracts third parties with the execution of the projects that he coordinates, identifying with the spectator from the very beginning of the creative process.

His passion for toys (guns, tools, trucks, cars, ships, planes…) lead him to collect these types of objects which he later used to invent strange machines and hybrid artefacts with intricate systems that he treated to variations in scale and transformed, going against their nature and cultural, symbolic or practical values. These dysfunctional artefacts, set into infinitely repeating circuits, are presented as a manifestation of an attitude of nonconformity towards social problems, ecological disasters and established power structures. This industrial control over our civilization awakens in him feelings of suspicion and fascination.

After visiting the exhibit halls there will be a conversation regarding different concepts and points of view on contemporary art. Participants will have the opportunity of building their own works of art—individually or as a group—assisted by Miguel Palma, but without any technical or aesthetic guidelines. The only limits will be the participant´s individual aspirations and the resources available: materials, space and time.

The resulting pieces will be exhibited in CGAC´s Project Space.


Miguel Palma was born in Lisbon in 1964. His work often deals with technological development, ecology, faith in images, the idea of power, the infant-youth universe and his obsession with machines. His work includes drawings, sculptures, multimedia installations, videos, artist books and performances.

He has carried out individual and group exhibits in different art centres and galleries throughout Europe, America and Asia and he is present in Portuguese and international collections, such as those of the Fundação de Serralves in Porto, the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, the ARCO Foundation and the MUDAM Luxembourg.

Hours: from 5 pm to 8 pm

Intended audience: artists, students of Fine Arts, History of Art, Humanities and Science, and everyone interested in fine arts and artistic expression.

Seats: minimum 10 / maximum 30

Inscription: 30 €. Friends of the CGAC: 25 €

Coordination: Virginia Villar

To participate it is necessary to pre-register by sending an e-mail to or by calling 981 546 623 or 981 546 631 indicating your full name, studies, area of work or interest, an e-mail address and a contact telephone number.

Registration takes place out the confirmation of the applications.

Coproducido por Sigo torcendo