André Cepeda is a Portuguese artist and a Urs Stahel is a Swiss curator. Both have worked on André’s exhibition and book Ballad of Today
Episode 138: In this episode I had the distinguished honor to speak with André Cepeda and Urs Stahel about Cepeda’s exhibition Ballad of Today currently on view at Museum of Art Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon for which Stahel is the curator. The book of the same name is published by Pierre Von Kleist.
Throughout the conversation we speak about Cepeda’s work and the exhibition at MAAT. The discussion ranges from the idea of walking through the city to make the work with a large format camera to how the exhibition is presented throughout the museum space. It was incredibly refreshing to speak with Cepdeda and Urs at the same time. It added layers of nuance to the making and presentation of the work.
One of the core takeaways from the conversation for me was about synthesis. It was interesting to hear about the genesis of the work. André and Urs had begun this conversation regarding Ballad a few years ago. The development for the project came from a number of meetings in which the duo would look over the work and see what could be added and removed depending on the new material and aims. This led to a very close nurturing of the work. It also gave Stahel time to think through the exhibition itself and to plot accordingly.
This collaboration between an artist and a curator is fairly uncommon. It is true that exhibitions, particular mid-career exhibitions are staged years in advance, but these are often based on existing works and not as often works in progress. The book is also a brilliant by-product of the pair’s efforts.