Powerpoint - A graphic and audiovisual inventory of dams in Portugal
1 NOV 2023 - 5 FEB 2024
Chilean architect Eduardo Corales spent three years producing a graphic and audiovisual inventory of dams in Portugal. Between 2019 and 2022 he visited and documented, in photographs and video, 30 paradigmatic cases of the Portuguese hydroelectric infrastructure system. This research was carried out with the aim of creating the first graphic and audiovisual record of Portugal's hydroelectric history, with the support of the EDP Foundation and DG Artes, together with the CEACT research centre at the Autonomous University of Lisbon.
A significant part of this work is now being shown in the exhibition Powerpoint, on display at the MAAT Central building from 1 November 2023 to 5 February 2024. The exhibition features photographs, three-dimensional models of volumetric elements, and a video of 20 of the dams studied by Eduardo Corales: Agueira, Alqueva, Alto Lindoso, Alto Rabagão, Baixo Sabor, Bemposta, Cabril, Castelo de Bode, Foz Tua, Fronhas, Lagoa Comprida, Miranda, Picote, Pracana, Salamonde, Santa Luzia, Torrão, Varosa, Venda Nova and Vilarinho das Furnas.
It is a chronicle of the elements that gave rise to a landscape of electrical infrastructure and which, from its various chapters, contributes to understanding the complexities, conflicts and future of the same, as well as the developments and changes that have taken place in the national territory more broadly. In other words, it is a compilation of chapters in the history of the electrification of Portugal, the territory in which they are located, and of EDP's own journey.
'I wanted to use the tools of architecture to make this set of information available to the general public and to future generations,' Corales commented.
This was the first time Eduardo Corales had studied energy infrastructure, and throughout the process he was surprised to 'see the work of a generation of engineers, in a complex context in which dams were treated as cutting-edge constructive elements, but also with a political component. I see it as a lesson for our generation: we need to respond to this type of problem through a multidisciplinary approach and with commitment to future public works, including infrastructure.'
For him, this was 'the first step in a future project to record Portugal's entire energy history, which could include, for example, other infrastructure such as wind and solar farms,' adds Eduardo Corales.
The EDP Foundation's support for this research by Eduardo Corales forms part of its mission to identify, classify and valorise the country's electrical heritage, namely through historical research with a view to producing a bibliography that contributes to deepening knowledge about the history of the energy sector in Portugal.
About Eduardo Corales (Santiago de Chile, 1982)
An architect who graduated with honours from the Catholic University of Chile in 2009. Founder of CAMPO Arquitectura.
His research has a particular focus on the territorial impacts of the Anthropocene, including surveys of hydroelectric infrastructure, extractive processes, territorial changes, and the study of the physical manifestation of energy, in all its forms.
He was a member of Chile's National Monuments Council, responsible for interventions in protected areas and historical monuments. After this period of training he began his independent professional practice, being invited to give lectures at the Goëthe Institut in Santiago de Chile, on the Master's Degree programme in Cultural Heritage at the Catholic University of Chile, and later at the Autonomous University of Lisbon (UAL), the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon (FAUL), the University of Évora, and more recently at the Faculty of Architecture of ISCTE.
Since 2014 he has worked on a wide range of architectural projects, including on territorial research, architectural practice, furniture prototyping, curatorial projects, and in collaboration with cultural institutions in Chile and Portugal. He is currently a PhD candidate in the ISCTE programme in Lisbon with the project 'Powerpoint: hydroelectric infrastructure in Portugal and the territory as a project.'
With CAMPO Arquitectura, he has worked on a wide range of architectural projects, including housing, infrastructure and public tenders. He leads the international furniture design incubator MOB Projects, a platform for the development of furniture design projects between architects and contemporary artists.
In 2019, the studio he heads won the international competition to co-curate the 2020-2022 CAMPO COMUM Conference Programme, a three-year conference programme for the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Garagem Sul at the Centro Cultural de Belém.
He is the coordinator of the International Partnerships area at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, and an independent architecture consultant for the EDP Foundation's Electra magazine. He lives and works in Lisbon.