My body, this paper, this fire departs from a personal account of the student demonstration of 24 November, 1994, in front of the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon. Initially starting as a gathering of 1,000 students, due to police brutality it turned into wide-scale protests involving 20,000 people across the country. The demonstration was the most violent event to date since the fall of Portugal’s fascist regime in 1974. 

Using a simple act of an affectionate hug between two people, the performance gently leads the viewers through various dystopian scenarios. It outlines the fragility and power of a single individual in the context of larger collective struggles and focuses on the importance of personal touch and simple acts of care.

Pedro Barateiro (b. 1979 in Lisbon) works with a variety of media including drawing, sculpture, film, performance and writing with a focus on deconstructing the binary narratives of Western culture. He has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel; Serralves Museu de Arte Contemporânea; CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France; Kohta, Helsinki; Rialto6, Lisbon; Netwerk Aalst; Kunsthalle Lissabon; REDCAT, Los Angeles; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; Pavilhão Branco – Museu da Cidade, Lisbon; Basement Roma; and Lumiar Cité, Lisbon. Group exhibitions include the 13th Sharjah Biennial; the 29th Bienal de São Paulo’ the 16th Biennale of Sydney and the 5th Berlin Biennale. 

His performances have been presented at Centre Pompidou, Paris; Théâtre de la Ville de Paris; L’école nationale supérieure des beaux-arts – ENSBA, Paris; Fondation Pernod Ricard, Paris; ZHdK, Zürich; Teatro D. Maria II, Lisbon; Teatro São Luiz, Lisbon; Teatro Praga, Lisbon; SESC Pompéia, São Paulo; Centro Cultural São Paulo. Since 2017, Barateiro has organised events and exhibitions at his artist’s run space Spirit Shop. In 2020, together with a group of artists, he initiated AAVP, the first artist’s association in Portugal. He has edited several books including the monograph How to Make a Mask, published by Kunsthalle Lissabon and Sternberg Press, The Artist as Spectator and Just a Wound with Mousse Publishing.


Performance partner


Video by Vytautas Tinteris


Photos by Andrej Vasilenko