abertura 2024

15 Sep

09 Nov

An exhibition of some of the artists’ books from the Aberto Manguel/Espaço Atlântida collection and a heterogeneous set of other artistic practices that focus on the broad concept of the book.

Artist’s books unfold, expand or expand what we understand by the book object. In this exhibition, we seek to highlight the processes of disobedience triggered by artists’ books – regarding the places of literature and the expected spaces of art.


Livros Desobedientes / Unruly Books is a co-production between Espaço Atlântida – Center for the Study of the History of Reading and Brotéria. The exhibition will be open to the public between September 15th and November 9th, at Brotéria, from 10am to 6pm (closed on Sundays).



An artist’s book is any plastic object that develops around or from the mentioned type of book. It is therefore not a matter of books in which images of an artist’s work are reproduced, nor of books in which only texts by a particular writer are illustrated. By artist’s book we mean here all objects that, as a work in itself, can somehow refer to the formal field of the book. It is the artist who has control over the final product of this work, which can be unique objects or elements produced in more or less extensive series. However, these are objects in the hinge between the possibility of reproduction and the uniqueness of the single, individualized gesture.

The invention of movable characters triggered a propagation of printing that dictated a long way for the book industry. Over the centuries the book has become the most universal and ingenious device of cultural production, perpetuating and disseminating knowledge. However, the restless artistic activity of the 60’s, responsible for the end of so many disciplinary boundaries, worked with the book as a means, or support, of a hybrid practice activating exchanges between writers, graphic designers and plastic artists. Hence, what we see when we delve into the difficult category of the artist’s book is that from manufacture to industry, the book or similar publications effectively form a sui generis body within contemporary artistic practices. Thus, the idea of ​​Livros disobedientes/Unruly books was born: an exhibition of some of the artist’s books from the collection of Alberto Manguel* and a heterogeneous set of other artistic practices that focus on this broad concept of the book.

Artist books unfold, expand or expand what is still typically understood today by the object “book”. In this exhibition, through the material presented, we seek to denounce the processes of an authentic disobedience that artist books unleash – regarding the places of literature and the expected spaces of art. To the surprising collection of Alberto Manguel, we add a set of elements with major importance for the development of this investigation. Thus, there is a way to punctuate a certain chronological development of this practice, showing us the metamorphosis that manifests itself out of format and on the margins of formal categorization.

All narrative, like all thought, is rendered in images. The processes of literature, of the soul, of the affective world, of fantasy, of the dream, or of any delusion or mystical vision exist imagetically. As Alberto Manguel says,

“formally, narratives exist in time, and images, in space.”  

Therefore, artists’ books are read with the eyes of the imagination and therefore resist and disobey even the purpose for which they are in this collection we discover works by artists, writers, protesters, or dreamers. Therefore, these books are disobedient to reading, or to their use, or even to art itself.