Past exhibition at Lumiar Cité:

Robin Vanbesien


12.02 - 22.03.2015

Robin Vanbesien, detail of untitled (Gravidade), 2014, acrylic coating, soft pastel and charcoal on fabric on stretcher frame, 92 x 84 cm. © Photo Kristien Daem.

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Because heʼs alone, a sailorʼs always telling himself who he is, writes Kathy Acker in her short story ʻLustʼ (1988), revisiting Jean Genetʼs ʻQuerelle de Brestʼ (1947), a novel about a young sailor and a trade-off between a murder and a transgressive sexual act. A sailor is nowhere home, always alone, which gives him the opportunity to act within the illusion of a mirage. Taking his cue from Ackerʼs and Genetʼs “sailor”, Robin Vanbesien unfolds a metonymic figure for a nameless desire circulating through painted partial objects and prolific poetic images invoked by words. Characters, genders and bodies appear at sea before the possibilities of an undecidably erotic (homoerotic or just autoerotic) fantasy. The relations appear dissociated, stemming from the desire of an emptied-out self. All seems to be given with the gravity that yields a passive tense of verbs, static gestures, and staged compositions. Landscape, painted or filmed, functions as the medium to circumscribe the figures. It reflects the notion of a framing gaze returned from its object in a specular dialogue. Although they seem to encompass each otherʼs plastic-pictorial unity, the author and its hero, the figure and the spectator, are conjoined in worlds separated from each other.

ʻGravidadeʼ takes its title from the eponymous film*, which is posed in the centre of a circular distribution of seven paintings in the exhibition space. The paintings partition a figure in the landscape, therefore forming a series of part-bodies as partial objects detached from both the figure and its imaginary surroundings (bollocks, penis, hands, tongues, fish etc.). The expressive pictorial quality in the filmʼs staging of figures through poetic quasi-dialogue renders it as another sort of painting toward which the other images in the room gravitate. Hence the film provides an illusion of restoring the lacking totality of each image on its own.

* Gravidade (2015, HD, 23ʼ) was produced during the artistʼs residency at the Maumaus Programme. Directed by Robin Vanbesien; Actors: Cláudio da Silva, Diogo Bento, Ricardo Vaz Trindade; Cinematography: Graça Castanheira; Sound: Isabel Dias Martins; Color Grading: Graça Castanheira; Sound Design: Bart Aga; Editing: Robin Vanbesien; Production Assistant: Rui Gonçalves; Text: Robin Vanbesien; Translation: Pedro Sena-Lino, Rui Gonçalves.

Robin Vanbesien (Ostend, 1979) lives and works in Brussels. He studied History at the University of Ghent and Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) and de Ateliers (Amsterdam). His recent solo and group exhibitions include ʻCelluloid Brushesʼ, Culturgest (Porto, 2015) / Ludlow 38 (New York, 2013) / Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2012); ʻlighting the throat = lighting the throatʼ, Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp, 2014); ʻstray fire / ships to sink like thisʼ, Rupert (Vilnius, 2014); ʻF. Hodlerʼ (with Willem Oorebeek), Pinacoteca (Vienna, 2014); ʻWhat thinks meʼ, Taiga (Saint Petersburg, 2014); ʻduty-bound away from the keyboard of the screen of my faceʼ, WIELS Project Room (Brussels, 2014); ʻMonstrance Air Pumpʼ, San Serriffe (Amsterdam, 2013); ʻThe Incapacity Not to Enter into Every Skinʼ, Walden Affairs (The Hague, 2012); ʻVille en abîmeʼ, Hotel Charleroi (Charleroi, 2012) and ʻA Means to a Placeʼ, Mu.ZEE (Ostend, 2012). Among his artistic residencies are Maumaus Residency Programme (Lisbon, 2014/15), Capacete (Rio de Janeiro, 2014), Rupert (Vilnius, 2014) and WIELS Residency (Brussels, 2013). He is the author of the artist book ʻInstant Ruinsʼ (MER. Paper Kunsthalle, 2012).


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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