THE TEMPLE OF DENDUR AS A SIMULACRUM
“Most European museums are, among other things, memorials of the rise of nationalism and imperialism. Every capital city must have its own museum of painting, sculpture, etc., devoted in part to exhibiting the loot gathered by monarchs in conquest of other nations.” (John Dewey, Art as experience, 1934.)
I presume that this view encompasses also the Metropolitan Museum of Art, even thought it is not “loot” gathered in conquests but rather acquired by means of other forms of power.
The Temple of Dendur is a particularly good example of this celebration of power as it is placed in a space that was specifically designed for exhibiting this temple, in contrast with most other artifacts that are exhibited in a way that the sheer quantity is more important than any single piece – this artifact has been elected almost as an ex-libris of the museum, as the Empire State Building is to New York City.
Besides the fact that Egyptian artifacts “were not designed for exhibition and contemplation” (Collingwood), when this temple is presented in such a fashion – a very large empty space, inside a “house”, with a fake L-shape pond (modernistic), a glass wall through which Central Park can be seen, etc. – it seems obvious that the intention is not for the viewer to perceive/experience this artifact in terms of the culture that produced it. Rather, it is a celebration of our own culture, to which the Temple of Dendur lends credibility and authority. That is, what is really important is not the temple but the mise-en-scène in which it is placed.
So much care has been taken in this display that other artifacts have been placed sparsely, in the same space in such a way as to create an “atmosphere appropriate” to “Old Egypt”. More important, in a relative discreet way, photographs of the Temple of Dendur in its original site, half-submerged in water and with graffiti on its walls, are displayed, implying that it has been “saved” from being ultimately destroyed.
In fact, the Temple of Dendur was destroyed, forever, long ago; its physical presence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is just a simulacrum.
Pedro Campos Rosado
Nasceu em 1950 em Lisboa. Vive e Trabalha em Lisboa.
1995-... Obteve o estatuto oficial de artista residente em Nova Iorque - “Artist
Certification” “Department of Cultural Affairs” (Departamento de Assuntos
Culturais), “New York City Council” (Câmara Municipal de Nova Iorque), New York,EUA.
1982-84 “Master of Fine Art”, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, E.U.A.
1995- ... “Doctor of Art in Studio Art”, “New York University, New York City, EUA.
1973-74 “Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Fine Art Sculpture”,”Faculty of Art”, “University of the West
of England”, Bristol, Grã-Bretanha.
1972-73 “Foundation Course in Art”, “Solihull College of Technology” Solihull,
SOLO EXHIBITIONS: (SELECTION)
2004 Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro da Arte Moderna José de Azeredeo
Perdigão, Lisboa, Portugal
2000 Galeria dos 30 dias, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
1999 Cordoaria Nacional, Lisboa, Portugal.
1996 Galeria Graça Fonseca, Lisboa, Portugal.
1985 Artemisia Gallery, Chicago, E.U.A.
1985 Galeria Quadrum, Lisboa, Portugal.
1984 New York Experimental Glass Workshop, (instalação), New York City, E.U.A.
1984 Tangeman Art Gallery, “University Of Cincinnati”, Cincinnati, E.U.A.
1984 840 Gallery, “University of Cincinnati”, Cincinnati, E.U.A.
1984 Merchant’s Gallery, Cincinnati, E.U. A.
1983 840 Gallery, “University of Cincinnati”, Cincinnati, E.U.A.
1982 Galeria Metrópole, Lisboa, Portugal.
GROUP EXHIBITIONS: (SELECTION)
1997 Art Gallery, Barney Building, “New York University”, New York City, E.U.A.
1996 ARCO - MADRID (Galeria Graça Fonseca), Madrid, Espanha.
1995 VI Bienal de Escultura e Desenho, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
1993 V Bienal de Escultura e Desenho (Menção Honrosa), Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
1991 Galeria Quadrum, “25º Aniversário da Galeria”, Lisboa, Portugal.
1989 II Bienal Internacional de Escultura, Óbidos, Portugal.
1989 Encontros Luso-Americanos de Arte Contemporânea, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian,
1988 Exposição Jovem Esculturas - Prémio UNICER (Artista Convidado),Casa de Serralves,
1987 Galeria Quadrum, Lisboa, Portugal.
1988 ARCO - MADRID (Galeria Quadrum), Madrid, Espanha.
1987 Exposição - Prémio Amadeu de Souza-Cardoso, Casa de Serralves, Porto, Portugal.
1987 Sociedade Nacional de Belas-Artes, Lisboa, Portugal.
1986 III Exposição de Artes Plásticas (Prémio de Aquisição),Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian,
1983 “Images”,”Cincinnati Commission on the Arts”, Cincinnati, E.U.A.
1996-99 Equiparação a bolseiro pelo Ministério da Educação, Portugal.
1995-96 Subsídio do Ministério da Cultura, Portugal.
1995-99 Bolsa conjunta das Fundações Calouste Gulbenkian e Luso-Americana para o
1989-90 Bolsa de Criação Artística no País, S.E.C, Portugal
1986 Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, Portugal.
1984 “New York State Council for the Arts”, New York City, E.U.A.
1984-86 Ministério da Cultura, Portugal.
1982-85 Ministério da Educação, Portugal.
1983-84 Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal.
1982-84 University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, E.U.A.
1973-76 Solihull County Council, Solihull, Grã-bretanha.
Universidade de Cincinnati, E.U.A.
Centro de Arte Moderna da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa, Portugal
Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, Portugal.