Christodoulos Panayiotou

Pragmática contra o Luxo

24.09. - 06.11.2016

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

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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

Mats Stjernstedt
12.01.2022, 7 pm

Registration to the lecture is free, but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email to

Auditorium Goethe-Institut, Lisbon

Independent Study Programme
Call 2022
Until 20.09.2021

Sjoerd van Tuinen

The Politics of Resentment

23, 25, 26.03.2021
12h–14h30, 15h30–18h


Sjoerd van Tuinen
The Politics of Resentment
12h–14h30, 15h30–18h

The seminar will take place online only.

Milan Ther

From One Institution to Another: Presenting Situated Aesthetics



Fogo Island Dialogues
Atlantic Codes
November 8–9, 2019

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lumiar Cité

Lumiar Cité

Rua Tomás del Negro, 8A
1750-105 Lisboa, Portugal
Wednesday to Sunday, 15h00 to 19h00
and by appointment.
Tel: + 351 21 755 15 70 | 21 352 11 55

Ao descer a escada
Há um degrau p’ra me sentar.
Não há outro degrau
Onde descansar.
Não estou lá em baixo
Nem lá em cima estou.
Estou é na escada
Onde sempre estou.

Ao subir a escada
Não estou em cima, nem em baixo.
Não estou na creche,
Nem mesmo no sopé, acho.
Ideias estranhas começam a girar
Na minha cabeça
Fora do lugar!

Tonio Kröner
09.11.2019 - 02.02.2020

26.06 | 18h00 Online conversation with Sabeth Buchmann

Thompson, Jürgen Bock

26.06 | 18h00 Online conversation with Sabeth Buchmann

Judith Barry
All the light that's ours to see

Extended until 6 December 2020

In line with revised recommendations from the authorities, we are postponing the exhibition, which was scheduled to open on 28 March. A new date will be communicated in due course.

Loretta Fahrenholz
Circle Navel Nil
24.04. – 27.06.2021

24.06 | 18h00 Online conversation with Sabeth

Buchmann, Loretta Fahrenholz and Jürgen Bock

Veit Stratmann
13.11.2021 – 30.01.2022

15.01 | 17h Guided tour and conversation

with the artist

Registration to the conversation is free, but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email to

Lumiar Cité is closed for the Christmas break between 24 December and 4 January.

Lumiar Cité is closed for the summer break between 16 and 31 August.


Ana Jotta
12.02. – 08.05.2022

Extended until 6 December 2020

In line with revised recommendations from the authorities, we are postponing the exhibition, which was scheduled to open on 28 March. A new date will be communicated in due course.

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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