Christodoulos Panayiotou

Pragmática contra o Luxo

24.09. - 06.11.2016

Museu Nacional dos Coches, Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa, PT/AMLSB/SER/I03324

My Image

A chair tells us to sit on it, a painting to look at, a ladder to climb up. Objects determine our behaviour. We often desire to own them beyond our basic needs. Some objects symbolize power and other might be read as a symbol for powerlessness.

Christodoulos Panayiotou’s objects are double-sided. For his first exhibition in Portugal the artist developed a carefully choreographed installation for the Lumiar Cité space in Alta de Lisboa, extending the exhibition to the balcony windows on the 6th floor of block of flats opposite the gallery, as well as to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. At the museum, there will be occasional performances, with no date and time announced, for an accidental audience, the ‘usual’ Gulbenkian visitors, who may not identify the performance as such when visiting the Mediaeval Art Gallery, since it discreetly ‘activates’ a fragment of liturgical manuscript from the 14th century, presented in one of the collection’s display cases.

The 18th century Portuguese law ‘Pragmática contra o Luxo’ is the title of Panayiotou’s exhibition. This law is often interpreted as a puritan reaction against the voluptuous decadence resulting from wealth fuelled by exploitation of colonised overseas territories. But it was a law that also aimed to secure the privileges of one class, limiting the right to use luxury objects to a certain nobility, preventing such items from becoming commonplace and charging them with a symbolism that announces the power of those with exclusive rights to use them.

Power structures behind given idealized and fetishized objects (the latter a term of Portuguese origin), including art works themselves (aura), are the topics of Panayiotou’s apparently minimalist exhibition in Lisbon. The objects presented at Lumiar Cité in a rather accentuated way include a classic marble console with its vague function and its reference to bourgeois decoration, a ‘delicate’ photograph of a bouquet of flowers in a Japanese style, a piece of jewellery kept in a Samsonite briefcase with instructions given by the artist to the gallery assistant on how to handle its visibility for the visitor, a sculpture evoking an archaeological find, its smaller format perfect to decorate a private collector’s home (as an archaeological piece as well as an contemporary art work), a real quince tree and curtains sewn using fabric left over from an order by the Archbishop’s Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus – all combined to subtly reveal a double-sidedness that undermines our common perceptions.

One of the predominant links between the works is how the artist activates each of the objects based on his sensitive attention to non-visible histories of their production, their materiality and materialistic projections regarding the desire to own them. By undermining notions of purity as a sine qua non for such projection, Panayiotou highlights certain phenomena of creation of meaning. All of this is developed understatedly in Lumiar Cité and the exhibition’s ‘annex’ opposite, as well as in the performance at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which, distanced from exhibition visitors, may lead them to wonder whether the artist is revealing or keeping a secret.

Christodoulos Panayiotou (b. 1978, Limassol, Cyprus) lives and works in Limassol and Paris. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held (amongst others) at the 56th Venice Biennial, The Cyprus Pavilion; Point Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Casino Luxembourg; CCA Kitakyushu; Centre d’Art Contemporain de Brétigny; Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig; Kunsthalle Zürich and Cubitt, London. His work was also shown in a number of group exhibitions including: dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; 8th Berlin Biennale; 7th Liverpool Biennial; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museion, Bolzano; Migros Museum, Zürich; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Ashkal Alwan Center for Contemporary Arts, Beirut; Artist Space, New York; MoCA Miami.


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 2024
Until 03.09.2023


Manthia Diawara
Angela Davis: A World of Greater Freedom
Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon
30.09.2023, 19h00

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



Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 148 - 3º C
1050-021 Lisboa, Portugal

The discussion will be in English.
Entry is free and limited to the number
of seats available.

Encounters between art and philosophy

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Sala 3, Zona de Congressos
07.–08.05.2024, 11h–13h,14h–17h

Programme 5
True or false

Salam Cinema (1995)
by Mohsen Makhmalbaf
with Esther Leslie and Jihan El Tahri

with Esther Leslie and Jihan El Tahri

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Auditorium 2
09.05.2024, 18h30


Programme 4

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Programme 2:
(de)framing the frame

Meeting the Man:
James Baldwin in Paris (1970)
by Terence Dixon

with Sarah Lewis-Cappellari
and Kerstin Stakemeier

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Auditorium 2
23.11.2023, 18h30

Programme 1:
space, place and memory

with Billy Woodberry
and Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Auditorium 3
13.10.2023, 18h30

Manthia Diawara
Angela Davis: A World of Greater Freedom
Sharjah Biennial 15
07.02. – 11.06.2023

Manthia Diawara
A Letter from Yene
Batalha Centro de Cinema, Porto


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


Dozie Kanu
20.01. – 14.04.2024

20.01 | 16h00 Opening of the exhibition

16.03 | 17h00 Talk between Dozie Kanu

and Simon Thompson


Sid Iandovka & Anya Tsyrlina with Leslie Thornton & Thomas Zummer

A combined exhibition between
Lumiar Cité and Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg.

A combined exhibition between
Lumiar Cité and Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg.

Lumiar Cité
27.04. – 28.07.2024

Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg
18.05. – 28.07.2024

27.04. – 28.07.2024 | Lumiar Cité

18.05. – 28.07.2024 | Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg

A co-production by Lumiar Cité
and Artium Museum

14.10 | 17h00 Book launch with talk between

Alejandro Cesarco and
Miguel Wandschneider

| 18h00 Opening of the exhibition


Artium Museum, Vitoria-Gasteiz
24.03. – 24.09.2023


Lumiar Cité
14.10.2023 – 14.01.2024


The Educational Web
Kunstverein in Hamburg
01.04. – 06.08.2023

Closed 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January

Arne Kaiser and Jürgen Bock

In cooperation with Lumiar Cité:

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

Johann Jacobs Museum

In co-production with Lumiar Cité:

Alejandro Cesarco
Other Recent Examples
24.03. - 24.09.2023

Artium Museum

The Educational Web
31.03. - 06.08.2023

Kunstverein in Hamburg

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

My Image
My Image
My Image
My Image