Past exhibition at Lumiar Cité:

Allan Sekula
The Dockers’ Museum
08.02 - 31.03.2013

Allan Sekula, Working (Santos), 2010, C-Print, 101,6 x 149,9 cm © Allan Sekula

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Allan Sekula (USA) lives and works at Los Angeles as an activist, artist, writer and critic. His work comprises, since the beginning of the 1970ʼs, the history and theory of photography, as well several projects focused on economical and geopolitical thematic. His books include: ʻPhotography against the Grain: Essays and Photo Works 1973-1983ʼ, ʻFish Storyʼ, ʻGeography Lesson: Canadian Notesʼ, ʻDismal Science: Photo Works 1972-1996ʼ, ʻAllan Sekula: Dead Letter Officeʼ, ʻDeep Six/Passer au bleuʼ and ʻTITANIC's wakeʼ (Portuguese version published by Maumaus). He is also co-author of ʻFive Days That Shook the World: Seattle and Beyondʼ. Sekula has participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions, including the 50th Venice Biennial, Documenta X, XI and XII in Kassel, and the 29th São Paulo Biennial. He is a professor at the California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), in Valencia (USA).


Allan Sekula is a renowned photographer, theorist, photography historian and writer. Using colour photographs in conjunction with text, Allan Sekulaʼs work focuses on economic systems, a subject often considered incompatible with the field of art. Cultural critics frequently see the economy to be a problematic issue that is of little interest for arts practitioners, although many artworks are under the unmistakable influence of market forces.

For Sekula, it is irrelevant that photography has finally been acknowledged as an artistic medium like any other, alongside painting or sculpture. He considers the modesty of the medium, and the possibility it offers to attain knowledge through keen observation, to be a more interesting characteristic. Relying on its ability to describe aspects of economic systems within the framework of the visual arts, through what is commonly called ʻdocumentaryʼ practice, Sekula attempts to offer a clear alternative to the kind of photography usually shown by the contemporary system of museum and galleries. According to the artist this system in essence prepares the work for an ʻantiquarian futureʼ, which condemns art to conform with the museumʼs relics of the past.

In recent years, Sekula has worked on long documentary projects inspired by contemporary political events. These projects have given rise to sequences and major series that often culminate in the publication of a book. In these publications, the photographs are contextualised by the artistʼs texts - which are always present in his exhibitions - which emphasizes the fact that Sekulaʼs practice also encompasses writing, alongside the production of visual work. Sekula calibrates each exhibition through a careful selection of photographs and objects specific to the context of the given place, thus ʻre-writingʼ his own narrative via the re-arrangement of work. By developing his exhibitions from venue to venue, they in effect connect cities and harbours, which evokes the production and flow of goods via complex network relationships of harbour cities, the subject of Sekulaʼs practice.

Lumiar Cité in Lisbon now presents the exhibition The Dockersʼ Museum. Photographs from the series ʻShip of Foolsʼ and the film ʻThe Forgotten Spaceʼ (Allan Sekula, Noël Burch) constitute part of the exhibition. The configuration of the exhibition is defined through an emphasis on cartoons and objects related to the world of dockers and seafarers, reflected in the exhibition title. The ʻobjects of interestʼ collected by the artist and the cartoons appropriated by him are not to be understood as artworks, but instead contextualize Sekulaʼs photography and film, while these in turn contextualize Sekulaʼs ongoing activity of collecting these items. Sekula finds his ʻobjects of interestʼ at online auction houses, contrasting the mystical ʻspeed of lightʼ of the Internet with the slow movement of cargo, 90 per cent of which is moved by sea.

Through taking the ʻforgotten spaceʼ of the sea with its 100,000 ships and 1,500,000 workers as the subject for his work, Allan Sekula reflects on the effects of current neoliberal ideologies. His work questions their promises of a painless, endless flow of goods and capital with the emphasis on consumption and negating the work and working conditions behind it. It reveals the far-reaching impact of globalization on peopleʼs lives.

Jürgen Bock


Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 148 - 3º C
1050-021 Lisboa, Portugal
Monday to Friday, 10h00 to 13h00,
14h30 to 19h00

Tel: + 351 21 352 11 55


Independent Study Programme
Call 2023
Until 04.09.2022


Manthia Diawara
AI: African Intelligence
Cinema Palace

Commissioned by Serpentine, MUBI and PCAI Polygreen Culture & Art Initiative, as part of Serpentine's Back to Earth project.


Manthia Diawara
AI: African Intelligence
Berlin International Film Festival
16.02. – 26.02.2023

Commissioned by Serpentine, MUBI and PCAI Polygreen Culture & Art Initiative, as part of Serpentine's Back to Earth project.


Amanda Boetzkes
Realism Without Authority
01.04, 04.04.2022
10h–13h, 14h–17h

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Registration is free but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email with a short CV to by 24.03.2022. Confirmation of registration will be sent by email. The seminar will be in English.

Lumiar Cité

Rua Tomás del Negro, 8A
1750-105 Lisboa, Portugal
Wednesday to Sunday, 15h00 to 19h00
or by appointment.
Tel: + 351 21 755 15 70

Loretta Fahrenholz
Circle Navel Nil
24.04. – 27.06.2021

24.06 | 18h00 Online conversation with Sabeth

Buchmann, Loretta Fahrenholz and Jürgen Bock


Anna Schachinger
08.10. – 11.12.2022

07.10 | 18h00 Circulating Salt, Ayami Awazuhara
08.10 | 16h00 Opening of the exhibition


Willem Oorebeek
17.12.2022 – 19.03.2023

Closed 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January

17.12 | 17h00 Talk with Willem Oorebeek,

Arne Kaiser and Jürgen Bock

17.12 | 18h00 Opening of the exhibition

In cooperation with Lumiar Cité:

Tiffany Chung
Thu Thiêm: an archaeological
project for future remembrance
08.06. - 08.09.2019

Johann Jacobs Museum

Maumaus/Lumiar Cité
is funded by Ministério da Cultura/Direção-Geral das Artes. With the support of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa and Junta de Freguesia do Lumiar

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