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Emílio Biel

IMAGE/TECHNIQUE, THE INVENTORIES OF EMÍLIO BIEL

Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto

Curator: Susana Lourenço Marques

30 May to 20 July

Guided tour with curator Susana Lourenço Marques at 15 June, 4pm

In collaboration with Ci.CLO Bienal Fotografia do Porto, the exhibition also presents a selection of photographic images made from the original Casa Emílio Biel & Ca. headquarters, owned by photographer Virgílio Ferreira, from a collection of 127 negative film from large format of public works in the North of Portugal in this period.

This exhibition presents nine large-format photographic albums, with images dedicated to the construction of major engineering works, which Biel carried out and published through his publishing house for the Association of Portuguese Civil Engineers, the current Ordem dos Engenheiros.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, photographic reporting on the construction of major engineering works, such as the construction of railways or the modernization of seaports, was multiplied throughout Europe. This photographic survey documents the mobility revolution and the definition of a network of connections that modifies and reorganizes the territory's politics and economy. In Portugal, the most active protagonist of these campaigns is the photographer, publisher and German businessman Emilio Biel, responsible for one of the most extensive iconographic surveys of the Portuguese territory in this period.

The exhibition presents the original large format albums with the images of the construction of the road, rail and sea connections in the north of the country, which Biel carried out and published through his editorial house for the Association of Engineers Portuguese Civilians, current Order of Engineers.

The exhibition features a rare set of nine photographic albums, some of which were exhibited for the first time at the Chicago Universal Exhibition (1893) and at the Paris Universal Exhibition (1900) - which include the Douro, Minho and Beiras Railways, or the construction of the Maria Pia Bridge and the Port of Leixões - revealing a landscape that has just been occupied by technology, filled with scenographic details made with the characters that steam in it for the first time.

In addition to the photographic missions to preserve the heritage, the role of the photographer becomes crucial in the creation of a visual inventory of the construction of large modern engineering infrastructures, thus becoming an active participant in the representation of the technological transformations of the territory.

Parallel programming includes guided tours and conversations with experts in the history of photography, engineering and geography. The first visit will take place on June 15, at 4pm, with curator Susana Lourenço Marques.

This exhibition is part of the research project Books of Photography in Portugal, 1860-1910, held at the Institute of Art History of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon in collaboration with the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto.


Faculdade de Belas Artes - University of Porto

Avenida Rodrigues de Freitas nº 265, 4000-421 Porto

tue > sat: 2h30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Partners: Goethe Institut Portugal and Epson

Free entrance