30 years of culture, art, and metamorphoses: the Modern Art Centre of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the reshaping of Lisbon's culturalscape

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This dissertation analyses the role of the Modern Art Centre (CAM) of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG) in reshaping Lisbon’s culturalscape from the early 1980s to the early 2010s by establishing a dialogue between the CAM’s activities and the Lisboan socio-political, educational, and cultural-artistic contexts. The research, accounting for the transitional aspect of those contexts throughout the years, delineates a trajectory of Lisbon’s (and Portugal’s) development in the fields of artistic and cultural accessibility and democratisation as well as consumption and fruition. This delineation, which includes a review of the respective European and North-American developments as contextualisation, starts by encompassing the period of the Estado Novo dictatorial regime – highlighting the FCG’s role in devising new cultural policies and in initiating a modernisation process –, and the period of the 1974 Revolution in Portugal – underlining the relevance of counter-cultures in the redefinition of artistic and academic practices –, so as to depict the Portuguese and international cultural realities which preceded (and greatly influenced) the CAM’s constru(ct)ing processes. The analysis seeks to explain how the CAM, as a reflection of and a response to those realities, would become a paradigm-shifting element within Lisbon’s artistic and cultural landscapes, as well as a key feature of the required short-circuiting between modernity’s objectives and postmodernity’s symbolical values (v. Santos, 2013[1994]). The research then focuses on exploring the CAM’s role in establishing an exhibitionary complex (v. Bennett, 1999) conducive to supporting a cultural transition between late modernity and postmodernity in the 1980s, and helpful in mediating globalisation’s processes from the late 1990s onwards. The dissertation aims, thus, at understanding and demonstrating how the CAM’s agency within the cultural-artistic field indelibly reshaped Lisbon’s culturalscape, i.e., how the CAM embodied social-political, urban-museological transformations and, thus, contributed to reshaping the citizens’ artistic-cultural behaviours – and therefore their cultural identities – at pivotal moments of urban and national redefinitions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
  • Faria, Luísa Leal de, Supervisor
  • Nünning, Ansgar, Supervisor, External person
Award date8 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2016


  • Culture studies
  • Art
  • Museum
  • Museum studies
  • Modern art
  • Contemporary art
  • Urban culturalscape


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