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curated by Anna Dusi

with artists:

Fernanda Barreto, Sofía Bonilla Otoya, Carolina Maki Kitagawa Frisby, Melanie McLain, Anna Garner

september/ october 2023

(photos on our instagram)


by Tomás Tomás

collab NVS - OSTRA

october/ November 2023 

(photos on our instagram)

below is an overview of exhibitions that have taken place at OSTRA since the opening in september 2022

enquanto uns podem, outros vêem televisão 
summer solo show by Cristóvão

13/07/2023 - 28/07/2023

Era o tempo
em que chegou à televisão
um canal especial
que adornava o pós midnight
em emissão, “o sexy hot#”, chegara a intimidade

Nada melhor do que o “Hell Is Around the Corner” (Maxinquaye,

Tricky) como indicador de início de emissão.
Era um deleite
poder dançar uma canção calma e sem ser foleira, simultaneamente.

lift up para depois querer sair à noite; apetecer ir curtir uma danceteria

mais cool com a felicidade feminina a ressoar
de mais perto de fazer levitar

Polaroid gama 600
que não havia em Portugal.

Consegui algumas cargas. Umas estragavam-se com a luz outras não.

A melhor forma era fotografar com brevidade.
Tinha um cinescópio com conteúdo de adultos como apetizer.
E assim fiz - delicadamente.

Deixei de chamar fotografia de conteúdo pornográfico.

Passei a chamar-lhe conteúdo para adultos. Pornografia é algo mais amplo
É um estado de se deixar ludibriar.

Afinal o luxo existe para ser inacessível.
Compra-se luxo, mas pode-se continuar a ter um gosto

duvidoso, questionável.

Inspira e expira em simultâneo que aprecio ouvir a indecisão

genuínas escolhas de observar arte corporal, charada encharcada.
Amorosa em fotos cândidas e ser violentado com imagens rasgadas dos sites

Sou agradado e alentado por conteúdos para adultos nas suas
mais diversas formas

O/A Homem deve ter SexPositivity na abordagem destes
conteúdos, sem tabús
Dando uma abordagem lúdica com exemplos positivos... sem complexo no corpo.

Para lá chegar mais...

Até mais.


Julho 2023 //


[contains explicit content]

(my darling) ubiquitous I'm not - group show
Hugo Cantegrel, Francisco Duarte Coelho, Samuel Duarte, JJ Estrada T., Margo Fortuny, Vasco Futscher, Jazmín Giordano, Chloë Louise Lawrence, Maisie Maris, Francisco Osório, Roman Sheppard Dawson

curated by Bartolomeu Santos

24/05/2023 - 30/06/2023

“If there is the human urge to distinguish oneself, to express one’s own personality, 

there is also the urge to belong to something(...)”

I found these artists and was moved by their ideas - I was curious to see more, and to look closer.


(my darling,) ubiquitous I’m not comes from a constant need I had to change places. By doing so, one might lose certain layers of the reality one is moving away from. But isn’t reality a misleading concept? Where and when does it begin or end?


The selection of artworks helps relate to what “reality” is and to what extent it is perceived by ourselves, as well as how we approach it.


Most importantly, one is constantly “sculpting” reality. Artists have an important role in that process. 


With this show, I would like to let go of this urge to be in different places at the same time, avoiding FOMO, and embrace non-ubiquity.


To see things more clearly and in a better way, it is helpful to put things in the right perspective.

Artworks exist within certain conditions, and one of them is its embedded provenance. As Isabelle Graw said “…the essence of the artist is somehow embedded in the artwork.”


With all the different approaches of how to deal with reality, these artists helped me approach it with more vigor. These artworks enhance presence, curiosity, and richness. 


We are not alone. Things progress due to a collective contribution.




Bartolomeu Santos

May 2023

“If there is the human urge to distinguish oneself, to express one’s own personality, there is also the urge to belong to something(...)” - Marjan Unger in Jewellery In Context (Stuttgart: arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2019) p.135

“…the essence of the artist is somehow embedded in the artwork.” - See the press release for Isabelle Graw’s curated show “The Vitalist Economy of Painting” at Galerie Neu, Berlin, September 15 - November 7, 2018, and her book The Love of Painting: Genealogy of a Success Medium (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2018)


ostreoidea - group show curated by Eva Slabá

30/11/2022 - 27/12/2022

Coming from the "sea of streets", one is invited to "sip on color and warmth"; a new sincerity. Catching sight of works on display, one recognizes that they are living in numerous beds forming communities, able to settle on hard substrates.

Their mature shape often depends on the type of bottom to which they originally attached themselves. In some respects they are razor-sharp, skin-cutting, thorny; on the other hand, they may be round, gleaming and soft. Some ridges are more hidden, they have a quiet attitude. Others are louder. Many of them will become relics over time that humans are unable to survive. They all belong to the same superfamily: Ostreoidea.


When Harold W. Harry used the term living oysters, he meant to convey that all the molluscs belong to one taxonomic category – they are “members of Ostreoidea”.   All Ostreacea are marine, found from tropical to low-temperature seas, but they are most diversified in warmer areas. The specific topography of the environment is always engraved not only in the anatomy but also in the memory. However it is the memory that blurs the real phenomena and constructs one’s own twisted map of experience. Irregularly shaped, usually smaller in size, and installed in groups, the bodies are thus in this exhibition context precious mnemonic traces of events and places. Experimenting with colour, forms and materials they shuck the shells of the profane world and contemporary fine art. In this way they could be seen as a hyperbolic celebration of such a hazy experience – grains of sand turning into pearls waiting to be discovered through the mind. Despite the hybridization of different backgrounds, Ostreoidea is ultimately a testament to the possibility of different young approaches to art to coexist, including their specific but close languages. To share a space for risk and sometimes even humour and laughter.


I challenge you therefore to eat “a whole bedfull of oysters”  , to dive into your own “central oyster of perceptiveness,”   to turn into your own street / oyster hunt.



All selected artists for this international group exhibition have artworks that are part of Bartolomeu Santos’ private collection. The only exception from Santos’ collection is the work of the Vienna based Luxembourg-Portuguese artist Alex Macedo, who has never exhibited in his home country and whose paintings fit the narrative of the exhibition. This project builds on the recent opening of Ostra with an attempt to topographically present (albeit selectively) one possible angle on the contemporary young collection of Santos, himself an artist. The maritime metaphor in modernist literature has served as a springboard for reflections on ideas about art, the city and the specific cultural and environmental climate. All relevant references are listed in the footnotes.

oubliette - solo show by Bartolomeu Santos 
                             curated by Carolina Pelletier Fontes

08/09/2022 - 13/10/2022

“An oubliette is a place where you put people to forget about them, the labyrinth is full of them.”

-Hoggle, from the movie Labyrinth (1986), by Jim Henson


From French origin, the verb oublier (to forget) triggers the idea around the title of the exhibition Oubliette. Referring to the film Labyrinth (1986) by Jim Henson, in which the plot develops from the story of Sarah (played by Jennifer Connelly) and the quest for her younger brother in a labyrinth linked to a fantastic universe, we are introduced to an unpredictable scenario also related to the concept of forgetting. Sarah ends up being diverted to a supposedly irreversible part of the labyrinth, where people are put to permanently being forgotten about.


With obnoxious characteristics, oubliettes are usually hostile places. However, there is the possibility of finding your way out - the oubliettes retain a light hidden in their darkness.


The current exhibition at the new space Ostra is built through a similar narrative. With premises that approach the act of forgetting and revisiting as a starting point, Bartolomeu showcases a body of work developed throughout the past year with a component that aims to improve the visual language developed by the artist so far. Obliterating what we know, we are invited to engage with a set of artworks that transcend bidimensionality and deepen the techniques of painting, sculpture and textile.


In Oubliette, the action of forgetting is materialised in a concrete way, where we are given the chance to experience a dichotomy at first. Through works of different scales composed of a spongy material (however protected) these objects suggest themselves an invariable and organic perimeter. Contrasting to that, Desmancha I and Desmancha II are located on the opposite wall to the entrance, this time two artworks with independent characteristics from the previous ones. Evidencing a diversified practice, these create a dialogue with the whole through their formal characteristics which identify their individuality.


In order to experience the fusion of these two visual moments for the first time, the final set of works on display intends, through mechanisms of perception, to create its own allusion to a place like the oubliette - where the reach of freedom ultimately depends on the spectator and the conscience he has of its surrounding. With the suggestion of the memory reconfiguration metaphor, it is through the reception of different stimulations that are inherent to the artworks that we are allowed to create our own path to achieve the “liberation from the oblivion”.