A rainy day in Lisbon

Museu Coleçao Bernardo

I decided to spend a few hours at the Museu Coleçao Bernardo, a museum of contemporary and modern art in Lisbon. I have to admit that it was the first time I went to a museum since I’ve been in Lisbon. I then realized that I only go to museums when I am on vacation somewhere but very rarely in the city where I live. And that above all, I never thought of going to the museum unless the weather was bad. But it’s an activity I really enjoy. Only in my mind it was associated with travel, tourism and therefore since I’m living here, I had still not dived into the discovery of museums in Lisbon.

The Bernardo museum was a good surprise. Not being the biggest fan of contemporary exhibitions, I must say that I had a great time. It would be a lie to say that I came out overwhelmed, transcended or even inspired by what I discovered there. I find that there is this pressure, or at least expectations about art and how it should feel. For me it’s more of a relaxing activity than a transcendent one. Obviously it depends on the type of art, but I admit to being more attracted to the historical aspect of a piece than the interpretation I should make of a blank canvas (there really is a blank canvas in the museum). I also realized that I was biased in the way I approached works, I realized that if a work belonged to a very well known painter (or at least one I knew), I was more likely to appreciate it or dwell on it longer than on other works that might be less known.

Gérard Fromanger, Splendeur

What I remember in the end is that it allowed me to think about something else for a while. That it took me out of my routine. Since a few weeks I have a hard time to really enjoy what is around me, my thoughts are always brought back to what is happening in Ukraine. I did not want to enter the exhibition of photographs of Yuri Dojc and Katya Krausova about the second world war, because I did not want to confront myself with this kind of emotions. Just one of the quotes at the entrance of the exhibition that said something like “no foreign sky protected me”, gave me chills thinking about what is happening in Ukraine. So I preferred a lighter approach, contenting myself with the other exhibitions, especially the colorful one of Gérard Fromanger!

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