António Aragão (b. 1921-2008, Portugal) was a Portuguese pioneer in the fields of experimental and visual poetry, practice that he also expanded to experimental fiction and artists’ books. Aragão was the co-editor of Poesia Experimental [Experimental Poetry], the magazine responsible for the introduction of experimental poetics in Portugal in the 1960s.
He is the author of several books of experimental and visual poetry, such as Mais exactamente p(r)o(bl)emas [More exactly p(r)o(bl)ems] (1968), Metanemas [Metanemes] (1981), as well as experimental publications such as the brochures titled Folhema (1966), Poema azul e branco [Blue and white poem] (1970) or Poema vermelho e branco [Red and white poem] (1971). His fictional production includes several books which radically experiment with narrative structures, visuality and non-linear writing/reading, most notably Um buraco na boca [A hole in the mouth] (1971) and Pátria. Couves. Deus. Etc. [Homeland. Cabbages. God. Etc.] (1982), both profusely rewritten and expanded in 1993.
In addition to other paper-based works, performances and installations, during the 1980s and 1990s, Aragão’s work focused mainly in the expressive possibilities offered by technology (copy machine, video, sound, laser), being Filigrama series a good example of that engagement. These series are part of a mail art project developed collectively, between 1981 and 1983, with António Dantas and António Nelos, which led to invitations to participate in international exhibitions and festivals.
For more information, see:
PO.EX Digital Archive