Fernando Aguiar

Fernando Aguiar (b. 1956, Portugal) is an artist whose work focuses on visual and experimental poetry and performance art. Belonging to the second generation of Portuguese experimental poets, Aguiar was an active organizer and promoter of experimental poetry in Portugal during the late 20th century. A witness of its major role is the book Poemografias: Perspectivas da Poesia Visual Portuguesa [Poemographies: Perspectives of Portuguese Visual Poetry] (1985), co-edited with Silvestre Pestana, a refresh at the time on Portuguese experimentalism, containing contributions by Portuguese visual poets, performance artists and experimental musicians. He was also a great promoter of Portuguese experimentalism abroad, editing several anthologies of visual poetry such as Visuelle Poesie aus Portugal (Siegen: Experimentelle Texte, 1990) and Poesia Experimental Portuguesa dels 90: Antologia (Barcelona: RSalvo Edicions, 1994), as well as organizing the compilations published in the magazines DOC(K)s (1987) and Visible Language (1993).

His first poetry book, Poemas + ou - Histo(é)ricos [Poems more (+) or less (-) Hi(y)sto(e)rical], was published in 1974, followed by several other books and experimental publications. Aguiar’s works circulated widely through mail art network, anthologies, magazines and exhibitions. Since the 80s, he has participated in more than a hundred festivals of poetry and performance. Aguiar’s visual works were showed in 43 solo exhibitions and he participated in about 600 collective exhibitions. Several of his performative poetic interventions are also documented in book form, such as Rede de Canalização [Plumbing Network] (1987), Recent Actions (1997) and The Essence of the Senses (2001). In 1985 and 1988, Fernando Aguiar organized respectively the 1st and 2nd National Performance Art Meeting, taking an important responsibility in promoting performance art in Portugal.

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