Each film is a letter written by a thousand hands.
From 19 October to 27 January, the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal hosts a special exhibition dedicated to the work of Pedro Costa. Pedro Costa: Companhia is based on the premise that each film is a letter with an uncertain recipient: a postcard, according to Costa, which passes around from hand to hand and gathers in itself all layers of time. This notion implies the existence of both a continuity and a community: a gesture that is repeated and updated each and every time anyone creates a film or a cinematic experience.
The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, drawings, books, poems and documents that shed light on the sources and influences of the distinctive poetic language manifest in Pedro Costa’s cinematographic vision. Companhia brings together works by Costa produced in collaboration with sculptor Rui Chafes, photographer Paulo Nozolino and film directors Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub and Chantal Akerman. The exhibition also features works by artists who Pedro Costa repeatedly summons to his films, including poet Robert Desnos and photographer Jacob Riis, as well as paintings, drawings and films that have accompanied Costa’s life and work as a filmmaker. These include works by Pablo Picasso, Robert Bresson, António Reis, Walker Evans, João Queiroz, John Ford, Jeff Wall, Jacques Tourneur, Maria Capelo, Andy Rector, Jean-Luc Godard and Max Beckmann, among others.
Chantal Akerman’s Femmes d’Anvers en Novembre (2008) at the Serralves Museum (picture by Sylviane Akerman).