The presence of the Carthusian monks in Évora for about 60 years is revisited and remembered at the ‘Saudades dos Cartuxos’ photography and video exhibition at the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation’s Center for Art and Culture (Largo do Conde de Vila Flor) , in Évora, until March 2020.
Entitled ‘Missing the Carthusians’, the show brings together works by Daniel Blaufuks, Jose M. Rodrigues, Paulo Catrica and Nacho Doce, among other photographers, and is part of the program prepared by the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation to mark the farewell of the four Carthusian monks who they lived in the Santa Maria Scala Coeli Monastery (Stairway to Heaven) near Évora and now move to Spain.
Prior to the opening of the show at 5 pm at the FEA auditorium, Father Antão Lopez, Carthusian monk in Évora for 50 years and prior of the Santa Maria Scala Coeli Charterhouse since 1989, will evoke “memories and experiences of his monastic journey and Cartuxa’s relationship with the Foundation and the city ”.
The exhibition “Missing the Carthusians” “chooses to show documentary images, some relating to the reconstruction of the Carthusian, others relating to the Carthusian, their invisible daily life documented by his own hand”, explains the curator of the exhibition in the accompanying brochure.
Under the sign of memory and affection
José Alberto Ferreira – artistic director of the Center for Art and Culture – also says that the exhibition also chooses to present “a series of images that chronologically revisit the Cartuxa in its relations with history, from archival photographs that witness events of the last 72 years, during which Cartuxa’s doors opened to the world”.
At its core, it presents a collection of works by nine photographers, most of whom participated in projects by the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation, both on its heritage and specifically about Cartuxa. “There are eighteen photographs, created between 1970 and 2019, many of them unpublished, now gathered under the sign of memory, affection, the experience of the place in the thickness of time”, reveals the curator.
The history of the Eugénio de Almeida Foundation has been linked, since its inception, in 1963, to the return and presence of the Cartuxa in Évora, as was the will and work of its founder, Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida.
In 1587 Évora welcomed the first monks who founded the Santa Maria Scala Coeli Monastery, but, almost three centuries later, “the winds of history led to the expulsion of the children of St. Bruno” and “only returned to Évora in 1960 by the hand of Vasco Maria Eugénio de Almeida”, highlighted the Foundation.
“It was possible that for almost 60 years the monks remained there in silence and prayer”, he said, indicating that “they were 22 in 1977, but as vocations waned throughout Europe, the community was reducing more and more.”
In a note, the Ecclesia Agency states that the advanced age of the Carthusian monks and the lack of vocations for contemplative life in the Carthusian Order led to the departure of the congregation of the Archdiocese of Évora, where it has been for 60 years.
On the occasion of the farewell ceremony of the Carthusian monks, the Archbishop of Évora – Francisco Senra Coelho – said that a female monastic community will inhabit the Cartuxa Monastery following the departure of the monks this October, continuing the archdiocese with an “ecological lung of spirituality”.
‘Missing the Carthusians’
October 26, 2019 to March 29, 2020
Curator: José Alberto Ferreira
Centro de Arte e Cultura (Art and Culture Center), Level 0 / Espaço Atrium – Évora
Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm