ARCO Lisboa Floating Pavilion Review – Milestone for City on the Rise

Many Lisboans you meet are proud of their city emerging as a cosmopolitan getaway for their fellow Europeans. 

 

Installation by Joana Vasconcelos on the boat's lower level enveloped event attendees in another world

 

In that context, the first ever ARCOLisboa—a staging of the contemporary art fair well-known in Madrid—is quite the coup.

 

After the party was well underway, the boat took off for a short cruise of along the Lisbon shoreline

 

The party boat as guests arrived

 

In between drinking, eating and dancing to American rock and hip hop on a floating pavilion with paparazzi camera drones above—a be there and be seen event that was part of this ARCOLisboa Inaugural, --we did in fact meet many art collectors and other Europeans who confessed to coming to Lisbon for the first time, or the first time in decades.

 

Most of the guests on this Portuguese floating pavilion were Europeans who seemed to attend many art shows each year

 

Some were there in quest of the undiscovered artistic talent collectors always crave to find.  

 

Vasoncelos had created this work for the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale

 

Skeptics among them spoke of Portuguese contemporary art as being “immature”. 

 

Drones captured the event from up on high

 

That didn’t stop them from dancing…

 

The party DJ played American music--hip-hop and more-- exclusively

 

Most of the attendees at this invite-only "floating pavilion" party were art collectors who attend many art shows worldwide each year

 

and more dancing..

 

..and more dancing...

 

 

 

..or eating and drinking…

 

Before...

 

...and after

 

..and often commenting how Portuguese people are so gentle and nice.

 

Maria Teresa Chelini of Florence is an art collector who attends many shows each year. She had not been to Lisbon in decades

 

(left) Monica Penaguiao, an interior designer who often buys art for her clientele and her husband Aramy Machry, a photographer and self-described member of the paparazzi

 

Artist Joana Vasconcelos

 

Suzanne Batsche from Boston was the only other American we met on board the floating pavillion party

 

Matilde Borromeo Fursteberg attends many art fairs each year in Europe to buy art, and said that coming to Lisbon was a nice change

 

Unlike shows like Basel Miami that seem to take over the city, ARCOLisboa’s footprint was not very prominent. 

 

From the Lisbon Mayor's private collection

 

A Fidelity Bank building hosted this exhibit as part of ARCOLisboa

 

More from the Mayor's private collection

 

We were surprised to find that the Private Collection of Antonio Cachola, Lisbon’s Mayor, that was the centerpiece of the party’s after-party and dinner, was one we had already seen as we wandered into a Fidelity Bank building (note: no relation to Fidelity Investments in US) as we were trying to take in the Lisbon street scene.

 

The party continued on land-- adjacent to the square that houses the Opera and several Avillez restaurants

 

Well-manicured buildings were the backdrop to the dinner festivities

 

Art lovers who like to time their travels to various cities with art happenings can keep track of future ARCO and ARCOLisboa events at the IFEMA website.

 

 

 

 

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