"Os Serrenhos do Caldeirão - exercícios em antropologia ficcional" ("The Hill People of Caldeirão - exercises in fictional anthropology") is a piece created by Vera Mantero at the invitation of DeVIR/CaPA, Faro, in the context of the "Encontros do Devir" festival, held in 2012. It addresses the desertification/depopulation of the Serra do Caldeirão hills, in the Algarve. Combining her own video with film shot by Michel Giacometti, and in particular footage on the subject of work songs, Vera Mantero casts a perceptive eye over traditional activities of rural life in general and knowledge of the oral cultures of northern and southern Portugal and of other continents. The whole piece is populated by voices that come from afar. Silence. The hills. With this sensitive portrait of the people of the Serra do Caldeirão, Vera Mantero speaks to us of people who possess a wisdom we are losing, a wisdom in the connection between body and spirit, between daily life and art. But a wisdom that we can (and should, for our own sake) revive.
Vera Mantero studied classical dance with Anna Mascolo and was part of Ballet Gulbenkian between 1984 and 1989. She became one of the central figures of the Nova Dança Portuguesa and began her career as a choreographer in 1987. Her work has been seen throughout Europe and in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, the USA and Singapore. Since 2000 she has also dedicated herself to voice work, singing the repertoire of various songwriters and creating, with others, experimental music projects. In 1999 Culturgest organised a retrospective of her work to date, entitled "Mês de Março, Mês de Vera"("Month of March, Month of Vera"). She represented Portugal at the 26th São Paulo Biennial, in 2004, with "Comer o Coração" ("Eating your heart out"), created in partnership with Rui Chafes. In 2002 she was awarded the Portuguese Ministry of Culture's Almada Prize, and in 2009 the Gulbenkian Art Prize for her career as creator and performer.
Concept and performance: Vera Mantero
Lighting design: Hugo Coelho
Image production and video script: Vera Mantero
Video montage: Hugo Coelho
Video excerpts from the complete filmography of Michel Giacometti: Salir (Serra do Caldeirão), Cava da Manta (Coimbra), Dornelas (Coimbra), Teixoso (Covilhã), Manhouce (Viseu), Córdova de S. Pedro Paus (Viseu) and Portimão (Algarve) Excerpts from texts by Antonin Artaud, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Jacques Prévert and Vera Mantero
Artistic residencies: Centro de Experimentação Artística - Lugar Comum/Fábrica da Pólvora de Barcarena/Câmara Municipal de Oeiras and DeVIR/CaPA/Faro
Production: O Rumo do Fumo
Thanks: Editora Tradisom
This project was commissioned by Encontros do DeVIR, DeVIR/CaPA/Faro
Approximate duration: 1h10
24 ABR — 12 mAI 2019