The artistic cooblestone at the 1998 Lisbon World Exhibition, a paradigmatic renewal in the Public Art panorama
With the Lisbon World Exhibition, Expo’98, the country bet on the creation of a public art program for the eastern area of the city, in which, the Portuguese artistic pavement was the protagonist as it was framed in the general project of this event.
With the environmental theme, “The oceans: a heritage for the future”, this event fit in with the Portuguese tradition of exalting the sea as a commemorative element. This event commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Portuguese Discoveries, and took place during the 1940 Portuguese World Exhibition, where the Portuguese past and its history were also celebrated. The pavement, through its artistic intervention, applied to the stone, would return in 1998, to have an important role in communicational dynamics, as it had originally had in the 1940s.
The look of multiple artists represented an important change in relation to the design and graphics of the work made in Belém. The trace would come to free itself from the shackles of power and the underlying ideological charge, thus giving an opportunity to multiple contemporary visions that would be interconnected in the pedestrian space. However, and although this new bet on a practice of the past, traditional techniques will undergo significant changes, which it is important to scrutinize in this article in the eyes of what we can today identify as a cultural legacy.