View of “João Pedro Vale and Nuno Alexandre Ferreira,” 2018. Foreground: Vadios (Vagrants), 2018. Background: Take Ecstasy with Me, 2018. Photo: Bruno Lopes.

João Pedro Vale and Nuno Alexandre Ferreira

Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art

Due in part to being ruled by a dictatorship from 1926 to 1974, not to mention the hegemony of Catholicism, Portugal has no explicit lineage of gay art. In this show, titled “A Mão na Coisa, A Coisa na Boca, A Boca na Coisa, A Coisa na Mão” (The Hand in the Thing, the Thing in the Mouth, the Mouth in the Thing, the Thing in the Hand), the Portuguese duo Nuno Alexandre Ferreira and João Pedro Vale set about addressing this lack. The main work in the central gallery was titled Vadios (Vagrants), 2018, after the word used to describe gay men in the 1912 Portuguese law criminalizing homosexuality (parts of which remained in force until the 1980s). It is a hexagonal metal structure surrounded by a metal shield, in a configuration reminiscent of that of the public urinals that used to be part of the daily urban experience in Lisbon. The structure is covered in graffiti-like writing, including

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