João Bento    
PASSAGEM
Passage - the book


autor: João Bento 500 cópias / copies 161 pgs / 17.0cm X 23.0cm impressão :offset
offset printing FINEPAPER - Rainho & Neves
design: Ana Teresa Ascenssão
edição: Município do Fundão
co-edição: A23
ISBN: 978-972-8959-29-6

Read the Book



comprar o livro PASSAGEM // by the book PASSAGE: Order by email- joao0bento@gmail.com 30 euros com transportes incluídos para Portugal 40 euros Internacional / delivery included
em Lisboa em diferentes livrarias: in Lisbon you can find it in different book stores: .STET Livros de Fotografia Rua do Norte, 14 – 1º andar 1200-286 Lisboa stet.info@gmail.com .Círculo das Letras 1170, R. da Voz do Operário 64, Portugal .Livraria Ler Devagar LX Factory - Rua Rodrigues Faria, 103 Lisboan +351 21 325 9992
ARCO Feira de Arte Contemporânea 2019 - Espaço CONCORDE /16 a 19 Maio Lisboa. 

para consulta:
biblioteca da Fundação Gulbenkian - Lisboa



O Ciclo PASSAGEM, que aconteceu no Fundão ao longo de 2014 estendendo-se até 18 de Abril de 2015, data da primeira apresentação do livro com o mesmo nome, foi inicialmente uma proposta para levar o meu trabalho à cidade natal onde cresci através de uma exposição individual. Viria depois a transformar-se num projecto maior a acontecer ao longo de um ano, pela especificidade interdisciplinar das linhas orientadoras do meu trabalho e do programa complementar/educativo e performativo que viríamos a delinear em conjunto com o Gabinete Cultural da Câmara Municipal do Fundão.
Programa esse que se definiu por vários momentos pontuais que aconteceram na cidade. O livro é então um testemunho desses mesmos acontecimentos e reflecte, através de um conjunto muito vasto de áreas, a minha pesquisa enquanto pessoa e artista, abrindo-a à comunidade local e partilhando com ela alguns destes processos. Com toda a certeza, influenciado por uma busca incessante que o meu pai, José Bento, levou a cabo sobre a identidade e origem do Fundão, assim como pelo seu lado de arquivista, marcado por uma forte relação com a filatelia, a fotografia, o vídeo e a história do local, que muito cedo presenciei e que ainda hoje é um dos centros do meu trabalho. Estar de passagem tem, entre outros significados, o de: “não tencionar demorar-se muito tempo”. Este projecto começa hoje mesmo a prolongar-se no futuro. A maneira como o pensámos através de um escuta atenta, assente no seu desenvolvimento, dá assim origem a que anualmente outro artista se demore algum tempo por aqui, pelo Fundão. A minha fica assim marcada.

Ciclo de exposições, live acts, projectos pedagógicos, curadoria, conversas, residências e transmissões rádio na cidade do Fundão. Um projecto que abriu a sua programação com uma exposição individual “Uma RetroExpectativa” presente na Moagem - Cidade do Engenho e das Artes entre 28 de Março e 11 de Maio , passando por várias acções pontuais que decorreram até Abril de 2015.
a próxima artista residente de PASSAGEM ao longo de 2015 será a coreógrafa Vera Mantero.

Printing the book 11 April 2015

Ficha Técnica / book and cyle creditsDirecção Artística, Criação e Programação/ Artistic Direction: João Bento///Produção executiva e Acompanhamento/ Executive production: Gabinete Cultural do Municipio do Fundão ///Acompanhamento Antropológico e Residência/Anthropological Support Marta Amaro /// Design Gráfico/ Design: Ana Teresa Ascensão/// Apoio Editorial/ Editorial Support: Ricardo Paulouro///Revisão/ Revision: Margarida Gil dos Reis/// Tradução Web/ Web translation: Porfírio Bento /// Parceiro Mídia/ Mídea partner: Stress FM /// Entrevistados/ People Interviewed: Adélia Nobre, Guilherme Neves Anselmo, José Travassos, D. Umbelina/// Apoio às Actividades Pedagógicas/ Pedagogical Support: Escola Secundária do Fundão, Rosalina Gomes, José Luis de Oliveira, Nuno Garcia, António Pereira /// Participantes no Projecto Pedagógico/ Pedagogical project participants: Turmas do 11º e 12º ano De Artes da Escola João Franco do Fundão ///Criadores Participantes/ participant Artists: Tiago Gandra, Rui Catalão, Elana Castilla e Elizabete Francisca/// Fotografias/ Photos: João Bento © 2014/15///Registo Fotográfico Performances/ Performances Photos: Alexandre Leonardo © 2014 - Pedro Grenha © 2014///Textos/ Texts: Rui Catalão, Marta Amaro, Fernando Paulouro ///Organização e Publicação/ Organization and Publication: Câmara Municipal do Fundão



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- english TRANSLATION 

english version page 0


There is an African proverb that says:The falling stone makes you aware of the silence of before and the silence of after


english version-INTRO page 1

The cycle PASSAGE that took place in Fundão (my hometown) during 2014 extending until April 2015, date of the first presentation of this book, was initially a proposal to bring, through a solo exhibition, my work to the city of my birth and where I grew up. It would then become a major project undertaken over a period of one year, through the specificity of interdisciplinary guidelines of my work and the complementary/educational as well as performative program which we came to outline in conjunction with Miguel Rainha, cultural programmer of Fundão.This program is defined by several once-off moments that took place in the city. This book is a testimony to those same happenings and reflections, through a very wide variety of disciplines, my research as a person and artist, opening it to the local community and to share with it some of these processes. It was without doubt influenced by a relentless pursuit that my father, Jose Bento, undertook about the identity and origins of Fundão, as well as for his part as an Archivist, marked by a strong relationship with philately, photography , videography and history of the area, which I witnesses very early in life and which is still one of the centre points of my work. Being in the process of passing through has, among other meanings, that of "not having the intention to linger for too long".This project begins today and extends into the future. The way we thought it through careful feedback , based on its own development, has provided the start to a concept that another artist may linger for some time on an annual basis here in Fundão. Mine is thus marked.
Exhibitions, live acts, educational projects, curatorship, conversations, artistic residencies and radio transmissions at Fundão – Portugal. The project started March 2014 with an individual exhibition titled “PASSAGE a retro-expectation ” at Moagem museum between 28 March and 11 May. And continues by means of various other specific interventions throughout April 2015 in the city of Fundão. 



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EXHIBITION TEXT book pg. 19

The idea that an action might serve as a case in point.
The point that emerges as, for example, the moment you decide to cross a bridge over a river, get on a plane, follow a trail, change a page. How many times have we been faced with moments when a movement, consciously or not, determines what part of experience decides to take to explore the future. And how much memory is built on a decision in relation to the past, present and future.
Something  will remain forever and something will continue to unravel for ever and ever.
Memory is the result which remains of a moment which took place and it's something that you might want to define for the future. The memory turns into a material so plastic as the objects/artefacts displayed throughout the project. This passage through various situational  points reveals that everything is precarious, everything has its time and space and that idea remains. Because the process used is to invade /inhabit/ disassemble the mechanism of things.
And what is found here collected punctuates the memory removed/found at that moment of creation, in which the remixing of a plastic archive acquired over the years offers new equations for the mechanisms. New answers, new devices that play with our own construction of senses, of memory. The precariousness of memory lies exposed in the objects presented, in the choice of visual and audio materials. Yet it proposes a new futuristic direction for an artefact, a new use, a regeneration, or vice versa, a modern record that may contain traditional and past symbolic plans.
By means of visual and audible registers, the author challenges that interaction, looking for the result of that contamination and any possible new directions.

Marta Amaro (antropologue)  in dialogue with João Bento  2014

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Hunter of sounds
by Fernando Paulouro book pg.34-35
The magic of sound is a fascinating thing. Sometimes, it leads us to the discovery of primordial worlds such as the elemental world – the sound of the wind, the sound of water flowing, the sound of the sea, the sound of the birds and animals –-others are the result of the very action of man over the territory and life, in the adventure of diversity of doers of things from the world of work, or the symbol of sacred or profane feasts. There are no cities or villages or territories without sound quality and silence always emerges as a destination for death or human vacuum, which is the same thing. When the silence advances over the fields and over the settlements, when the bell ceases to ring at the top of the church tower and the houses close their doors finally, it is the desert that is advancing. The sounds become identifiers of a land or of a city. The languages of people, sometimes the cities become a huge Babel, there are streets and places that historically claim that diversity, there are sounds such as the pounding of looms or the industrial sounds of the effort produced by human work (with our hands ...), and there are also the sounds that rise into the air emanating from dramatic ancient rites or from the pure party of the communities. This universe has always fascinated me. And for the dazzling to be complete, I must confess that in the late 60's, I was fortunate enough to have accompanied Michel Giacometti in the mining of Portuguese songs and traditional music. It was during the summer holidays with Michel Giacometti occupying my parent's house and it was from there that he departed for his trips around Beira , looking for the people who define us. I accompanied him and opened my eyes to this amazing reality of words and things. There we were, in his Two Horses, he with the Nagra recorder on his shoulder, peering, digging deep to find the jewels of songs and music that ordinary people had within themselves. The sounds. Those voices that seem to be part of the substance of time (always remember Catarita Chitas or the Drums of Lavacollhos) and therefore are immemorial. In the Museum Canteiro de Alcains there is an exceptional record also collected by Giacometti: it is the sound of a group of men dragging a huge stone. Hey little pebble, upa! Listening to the extended and painful record, I remembered straight away the epic description of the transport of the great colossus of Pêro Pinheiro to Mafra in Memorial do Convento , of Saramago. I'm saying all this to emphasise that the sounds constitute an essential memory. For I don't know how many years, João Bento has embraced, among other works of creative dimension (in the music or in the theatre, for example), this huge task to rescue the memory of the sounds, preventing them from getting lost or die in oblivion. The sound collection that he brought to the exhibition in Fundão is a good example of what is available in terms of a polychrome and diverse world, in which the colours are the sounds. This registration is timeously long . It is a world that needs to be heard. There are cities, there are festivals and fairs, there are sounds born from the sweat of others, which is the work, there are industrial sounds, there is talk, much talk, the small or great Babel, on an exploration where the site and the planetarium join together. There's Fundão, of course. The streets, the houses, the Cale Street and the markets. There are sounds that have now disappeared, of activities and events that have become ephemeral, but that João Bento collected patiently for future history. With his job undertaken over a period of many years, João Bento (he, who is a young man) calls pedagogically for attention to the importance of sound files, for which there is not a lot of sensitivity in a country which normally forgets the past such as Portugal. We lose so many worlds every day. João Bento, active hunter with his sound machines, has prevented some from being devoured by time. And that is a priceless service.


lançamento do livro PASSAGEM no Atelier Real /// book launch @ REAL
foto/photo: Ana Teresa Ascensão


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stress.fm book page.60-61
A piece of memory and a meeting with the present, the time and the immateriality of past narratives as a current need of a watchful eye into the future. The encounter with Fundão sparked an experience for a territory that is common to us, but where the attention is not on the same level as other points of a Portugal where one seeks to define centres and peripheries. Quickly we realized that it was possible, even though temporarily, to be at the centre, a centre that is ours and where it is our decision to be in it. The challenge was to be, to listen and to give continuity to experiences and practices under the auspices of the project Passage. We heard and were led by stories from Cale Street, fundamental element in the memory of this place and basic element in the construction of what is now the city of Fundão, where inevitably nostalgia of a past emerges and we interrogate ourselves about the changes to such a different present. We were also guided to the sharing of practises with young people at the Secondary School of Fundão, which allowed us a meeting with an imaginary future, the thinking of the future of this place that may be built by these young people. The experience of this present place brings about close links with the past and the future, a "passage" between two periods which touch in the present. The Stress.fm project included a survey of depositions in an interview mode within an improvised Studio installed in a trailer and in the old Central coffee shop that remained during the weekend of the Festival Cale, in the Praça do Município of Fundão. entrevista para a stress fm / interview to stress.fm PT

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Radiography Investigation for the construction of an audible and visual portrait of Fundão. book page. 68-69

The present work at the shop Pais e Fradinho in Fundão is an exercise that aims to provide a live visual and audible archive of the history of this city. Consisting of a collection begun in 2008 and based mainly on stories of those who were born and lived in the Cale Street. This thoroughfare was the source of life and one of the strongest streets at commercial level for many who travelled from outside and to others who have always lived here. The story begins many years ago, having as starting point the Jewish community installed here, which many still have attempted to prove that it never existed. But there are theories that the genesis of the name of the street comes from the word Kahal, a symbol of the Agora and Forum, socio-cultural centre and meeting points for a community that served the land workers present there. Tinsmiths, watchmakers, tailors, shoemakers, etc. We collected some iconographic objects from this exact street and 5 years after the start of this recovery we settled ourselves in the store Pais & Fradinho, courtesy of Madam Umbelina and her son Helder Pais. This Shop also existed in the Cale Street primarily in the 50's and that, as many other stores in Fundão, has also closed its doors. Here ,during several days, we discussed the best way to provide a visual and audible presentation of this archive. However the archive is not in any way complete because this is a job that we want to continue to discover, to decode and understand every time when the history of our land surprises us. Right here in this shop located in a prime location of Fundão by its centrality and history, we have renewed our range of interviews and we thought about the documentation filed up to now. Finding, as José Bento said, "for the land and for mankind , there is no worse death than that by oblivion". Or as Francisco Amaro in "poems from my street": "that neither lack the breath of dismay such as a lot of rags, that go with the wind, but they are lots of rags, where there is always a rag, which goes against the wind". Many of the elements that we found are here today in the form of a dialogue hoping, as such, to contribute to the collective memory of Fundão. João Bento and Marta Amaro, July 26, 2014. AUDIO: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Radiography 2nd part book page.88
One of the reasons why we have reached a partnership in installing Radiography was precisely because we shared a common memory.In 2008, João was residing in Cale Street, a familiar and old Street in the town of Fundão, at the top of which in an alley on the right, my grandparents lived and where I also spent part of my childhood. To João (I believe) it was a type of re-experiencing a return to origins, and it is at that level that my journey in anthropology studies mixes with his thinking of a plastic artist. There arose a perspective of creation, before a gathering of what is most humane: a group of residents, workers, creators of a collective space that is nothing more than the result of their interactions, their personal history closely linked to the historical construction of the area, in this case that of Cale Street. The collection of interviews and photographs emerged naturally with the process associated with the presentation being the result of a search of the memory of this specific space. João passed through Fundão, Caldas da Rainha, Montemor-o-novo, New Delhi, Dhaka, Berlin, Lisbon and went through various other projects in his professional capacity. Amongst many others, the diversity of places, people, food, smells, sounds, languages, symbols, is experienced in a certain place and space, at a precise hour, or would it not be that the day has 24 hours! As an extremely dense, complex, chaotic baggage, there arises the need to make the trip easier, since we are not supermen fitted with external disk drives with scientific preciseness, capable of retaining and delivering all the information that has passed us by. As we archive what has happened to us, what we learned, what they told us? Can we have that machine like strength of memorizing/archiving everything that we go through? A great human dream not only in terms of science fiction. Until now, the game is played with the memory, it reformulates itself, new directions are employed. Some people say that art makes more real what is existing as reality. We are mere animals who retain only what it takes to survive in society, as a group, in solitude, in contact with multitudes of solitudes, of groups, of societies. Sharing memory unites or repels, but always brings us back to our own identity issues. About that, the artistic activity does not positions itself outside, but is a mapping of a cultural activity inside of its own society, the proof of which is in the present artefact.

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book pg.112 Inside Here
Pedagogical project with students at the Secondary School
of Fundão.

I recall with great satisfaction and gratitude the time I spent at the Secondary School of Fundão. In particular the period corresponding to the 10th, 11th and 12th grade of the Arts Group.
A period of experimentation that has without doubt  enriched me as a person and as a professional in the areas in which I developed my work.
During these same years and through the organization that existed in this group which had Nuno Garcia and Fernanda Piña as teachers, there were many activities central to my development: The permanent annual visits to the ARCO exhibition in Madrid that allowed an approach to the professional and international art world outside school. The annual History of Art conferences that still exist today and which brought us closer to other students and to other cities, in which one of the highlights was the presentation of the play "Harlequin" by our multidisciplinary group MOVE (dance, performance, music) based on a painting by Pablo Picasso and presented at the Electricity Museum in Lisbon.
At this same time we had at our disposal the school Auditorium where we developed a workshop called "Inside" with my work colleagues Tiago Gandra and Elena Castilla and the  Arts students of the 11th and 12the class of 2014 (Special thanks to the director of the school, professor Zé Luis, Antonio, Nuno and Rosalina that made possible this event in partnership with Câmara Municipal do Fundão).
It is a tremendous pleasure to revisit this space and be in contact with the students and teachers that are presently attending, thinking and sharing with them the same concerns I had at the time and others that are relevant to the present days. Also to highlight the commemoration of 50 years of this establishment where many Fundão  residents obtain tools for their professional and personal lives.

João Bento 2014

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KNEE book page.148
In a series of actions based on photographs from family albums, I searched for sensations and memories which bring me “home” which, in being reproduced , they are now presented in a strange way. I worked these images with elements of the present, which in turn are the consequence of the past. Twenty-five years working with and for the body. I have great difficulty in conducting numerous movements, due to physical wear and tear of the left knee. Knee was premiered in October 2013 in the Vila Real en Dansa, Valencia, Spain and presented later in December 2013 in the municipal Gallery of Boavista, Lisbon/ and 2014 in Fundão during the 
event Passage.

Criação e Interpretação / Criation and Interpretation : Elena Castilla Som/ Sound Concept and Live Operation: João Bento


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The sound is the character by Rui Catalão 
book pg. 132-133

I came across the work of João Bento for the first time when he was preparing with Tiago Gandra, in Montemor-o-Novo, the duet that they would call "In here".

By that time, I had been working on an idea which I called "The boom operator", which consisted in making a duet with a "perche". In cinema, the "perche", or boom operator in the English version, is the Assistant to the director of sound, and his work consists in holding a pole with a microphone mounted at the end, in order to capture the sound of the actors in motion without the microphone appearing in the frame of the image. What João Bento  made with his "perche" was exactly the opposite: use the "perche" to capture sonically the work he was doing on stage with Gandra, yes, but at the same time exploring its visibility, better yet, its scenic potential.
Fascinated by the scenic potential of his audio work with the "perche" (which literally sweeps the space of sounds in a given scene) I invited him to participate in my next project, "Songs and comments". (I might add that in the same way that I abandoned the project "The boom operator", I also ended up abandoning  his work of "perche" in "Songs and comments").
I learn a lot from my collaborators, especially before starting to work with them. In the case of João Bento, what made me work with him was his scenic device: a box (I'd say a tent) at centre stage, the work to be performed inside this box, then the box moving in space (i.e., the sound moving in the space of the stage, without ever moving in the space of the box), and finally the work out of the box, until this box is transformed into a light box, primary object , of a rural nature, to construct images, using only a small hole and a light beam, which would build a  self-portrait of their authors.
"Inside" is a piece that in its mise-en-scène is a debtor of conceptual art (i.e. it is the device found to generate the sense of the play). However its dynamics, reminds us  of a game of Chinese boxes: the stage space is transformed into a sound box, which in turn contains a second box, the tent, tent which contains an even smaller box, the audio recorder that Bento carries with him over his shoulders.
The incessant movement which is-interior-becomes-exterior-that-is-exterior-becomes-interior contained in the work points to the Baroque amusements in which nothing ever gets caught in its place, since there is always a new direction to foil our attention.
It was influenced by this game simultaneously playful and technical, of who captures (the sound) and does not get caught (in what he does), that I ended up chaining (i.e. arresting) João Bento to a sound desk at the centre of the stage, facing Pedro Oliveira (musician who made the live arrangements in "Songs and comments").
I wanted to see them in their Arabesque and Baroque escape games, yes, but without offering any easy way out. What I pretended was not their freedom of action (neither in space, nor in any way in the mode of operation within the template that I had defined  for him).
My starting point was clear: the songs of Blarmino (first reason of the play); after that the live arrangements of Pedro, and only then the acoustic treatment of João Bento. Afterwards  I assembled the sound design in space: a pair of speakers facing one another, in the middle , at the bottom of the stage; a pair of speakers in front of the scene (drawing a corridor of sound with the back ones) and I waited for João to return to me, on that device so limited, the Baroque spiral that awaited him (at that time I never told him this, I wanted to be him to  rediscover in my work a feature that he had already found in his ,although intuitively). It was then that he proposed a third set of speakers, in the alignment of the sound corridor already defined, but behind the audience. The rest is part of the theatrical experience: you had to be there to see the sound transform into the matter that shapes the character.