Parque Station, Lisbon
Portugal, I am rooting for you. Whatever torment those oddball Finns and censorious Eurocrats dream up for you, I am on your side. Any country that paints a subway station (Parque, in Lisbon) ocean-blue, and retraces Vasco de Gama’s voyages of discovery amid disembodied quotations from Plato, Lao-Tse and Gilles Deleuze, author of “Capitalism and Schizophrenia,” has won my heart. I’m coming back, and next time I’m bringing my friends. Deep down into the ground of Lisbon, one can discover a blue cathedral, a subterranean cathedral made of 450 000 tiles all made by hand in the purest tradition of Portuguese azulejos. Built in 1994, it is a monumental work dedicated to the Portuguese discoveries from the 14th to the 15th centuries reporting a historical moment while Europe was entering a new understanding of the world.

Along the two platforms, there are 50 large maps narrating major moments of that Portuguese story above which a huge blue vault is covered with the words of Human Rights. It is during the production of this gigantic work, that the artist Françoise Schein became conscious that such projects could serve multiple objectives – educational, and social - while being an artistic project inserted into cities infratructured systems. In this station the artist has painted the discoveries of the beginning of the colonialism era with a critical point of view and juxtaposed with philosophical questions related to human rights. One can see a vast iconography borrowed from the history of cartography and hundreds of literary and poetical quotes.

The work is centered on the specificity of Lisbon and Portugal's history, with the discoveries of the 15th and 16th century.It tackled this period of the country history with a contemporary critical point of view as it juxtaposes 50 maps about world's history with Human Rights texts. It questions a serie of paradoxes necessarly involved in the process of progress. Esthetically, it presents litterary, philosophical and Human Rights texts with 50 large historical maps. This station has been considered as one of the main point of the Human Rights network created by the association INSCRIRE’s with artist F. Schein. Center of a young democracy ( since 1975), Lisbon is also the symbol of the extraordinary “Discoveries” made in the 14th and 15th century by the portuguese navigators , when Europe was entering into a new understanding of the world and the universe.


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  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated 60 media, updated, updated 2 digital references, added 2 digital references and uploaded 15 media
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