LACS has partnered Cascais-based Out Fest to bring the work of new and established artists to this electronic music festival venue at Parque Marechal Carmona. To find out more about the project we spoke to José Filipe Rebelo Pinto, the founder of Out Fest and its promoting company NCS, Bárbara Noronha the communications director of MANICÓMIO, a social project fostering the work of artists with experiences of mental illness, and João Raimundo, Founding Partner of LACS, who is responsible for the arts.
Out Fest’s main focus has been electronic music, but now in its fourth year the festival’s organisers have expanded it beyond its main venue to other areas of Cascais as well as into other sectors of the arts.
“The idea behind Out Fest is for it to be a different kind of event during the day at Parque Marechal Carmona in Cascais. It’s intended to bring new life to Cascais in a number of areas, not just music,” explained José Filipe Rebelo Pinto, the founder of Out Fest.
“This year we’ve set up more partnerships, including the one with LACS in which we have introduced art into the festival through a panel, which is about 70 metres long, at the park,” he added.
LACS as a “workspace for creative minds”
The relationship with these partners selected for the Out Fest art panels goes back when the first LACS workspace opened on 8 June 2018, “we signed a protocol that day with Manicómio with a view to giving the project more visibility and seeing how we could work together, and that’s how the partnership came about,” João Raimundo said.
Positioning itself as a “workspace for creative minds” led LACS to focus on the arts and the creative industries as a priority area. According to Founding partner of LACS, João Raimundo, who is responsible for the arts, this partnership with Out Fest, MArt and Manicómio, is part of a wider artistic mission that the LACS team had envisioned since it was founded.
“We will always try to promote young artists and public art through LACS. This is in line with what the founders of LACS see as its mission,” João Raimundo explained. “The backdrop for all of this is public art and the possibility for LACS to provide free access to culture, including the visual and performing arts.”
“It’s part of a social mission to join up with projects that involve both established artists and young talent to give the support when they need it most,” João Raimundo noted, “and to take that mission to wherever LACS is located.
Of the ten artists displaying their work on the panels at Parque Marechal Carmona two – Anabela Soares and Pedro Ventura - are part of the Manicómio project. The project’s name means Asylum in Portuguese and is deliberately intended to be an immediate challenge to the stigma of mental illness as the artists it showcases all have experiences of mental health issues. “We don’t expect to break the stigma, we’re not that arrogant. That’s why we chose this name. By getting used to saying Manicómio every day it no longer has the connotation that leads to the stigma in the first place,” explained Bárbara Noronha, the communications director for the project.
Manicómio is a continuation of a 20-year project that began at Lisbon’s Júlio de Matos Psychiatric Hospital and has provided artists with experience of mental illness with a place to work and scholarships that allow them to continue working. “It’s already a very mature project. Being outside the hospital makes a difference to our artists. Inside the hospital they are patients and outside the hospital they are artists,” noted Bárbara Noronha.
“We select artists when we recognise their artistic potential through established artists like Jorge Molder, Jeff Koons or Pedro Cabrita Reis and we give them a decent place to work with everything they need. Our artists, who have a clinical diagnosis, work in a flexible workspace alongside web designers, architects and lawyers and that interaction helps to shatter the belief that because they have experienced a mental illness they can’t work or interact socially,” she explained.
The other eight artists are from the MArt project, a Lisbon-based open visual arts academy and school focused on teaching a variety of arts disciplines and fostering individual drawing, painting, etching, ceramics, history and theory of art projects.
The artists showcased on the LACS panels at Out Fest are: Ana Natividade | Anabela Soares | Andre Almeida e Sousa | David Gonçalves| Filipa Pestana | Francisca Carvalho | Mariana Dias Coutinho | Matilde Torres Pereira | Pedro Ventura | rita ra
Out Fest’s highlights
Out Fest 2019 was organised by NCS in partnership with Cascais Town Hall and electronic music production companies Bloop and Fuse, which hosting the line ups on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May, respectively.
In addition to the main 2-day event, this year Out Fest included two more days of happenings, said José Rebelo Pinto. “On 23rd there was a showcase by Bloop at the Tamariz Oceanic Swimming Pools and on 24th Fuse showcased at the Casa da Guia amphitheatre,” he said.