Flatland I (2004)

Maria Madalena de Azeredo Perdigão Award/ACARTE 2004
Special mention Scholarship Ernesto Sousa/FCG
Top5 performances 2005 – by Expresso newspaper

Flatland I (Upwards, but not to the North)” is the first of 3 episodes that tell the tragic story of a Flatman after he discovers there is a third dimension that is missing in his life.
In this first part we follow Flatman as he reflects his way through worlds of bidimensionality and perspective until he discovers that his existence in the 3D world would be temporarily possible if only he could find a spectator to watch him. Pleased with his discovery but unhappy about the dependency it implies, Flatman develops a strategy to conquer three dimensional immortality.”
Flatland I is a multimedia performance in which letters, moving images and small notes are projected onto a 3×4 metre book that you can read, listen to and watch, as it transforms and moves with the story it tells.
(this piece has been shown as a performance in dance and theatre festivals, as a film in film festivals and as an installation in Museums and exhibition halls.)


“This is a very intelligent performance, somewhat abstract and cerebral. Entertaining and yet tragic.”
Eduardo Prado Coelho in Publico

“the work of Patricia Portela is intelligent with brilliant narrative and capacity for reflection – the theoretical points are made through the playful action itself, as we discover the pleasure of the narrative. At a time when the visible is all around us, the question is how to be seen. After Flatland I, Flatland II deserves the highest of expectations”.
Augusto M. Seabra in Público

“I have rarely seen performances that, without betraying their own vocation (to be performances), can be also seen as a group of theoretical questions. Flatland I is a good example.”
João Carneiro in Expresso

“Flatland (is a place) where true symbiosis occurs – a performative, choreographic and literary world” (…) In Flatland, the choreography is in the movement of the words. There is a symbolic choreographic dimension in the proposed meanings and a literal dimension, in the dance between the voice and the movement on a screen that reproduces a giant book. The issue of how we look is very important in what is an exercise in dislocation (…)”
Claudia Galhós in Jornal de Letras

“the professional quality of these new (artists in the Amperdans Festival) is striking.”
Elke Van Campenhout in De Standaard

“the ingenious editing of the texts, photos and film balances somewhere between an essay and a Fairytale for adults.”
Jeroen Peters in De Morgen

“an absolute light point – and a must (in the Amperdans Festival) was “Flatland” by Patricia Portela. Without pretension this piece is a witty and apt reflection on our relation to the world of data, concepts, books and how they bend our perception.”
Pieter T’JONCK in De Tijd

Artistic team

Text, images and coordination Patricia Portela
Voice / performer Anton Skrzypiciel
Sound Design Christoph de Boeck
Graphic composition of video clips Helder Cardoso
Layout and book programmer Irmã Lucia efeitos especiais
Technical support in Lugar Comum Hélio Mateus
Technical support in Antwerp Peter de Goy
Technical support in Montemor-o-Novo Carlos Jorge Carmo
Construction of book support Antoine Vandewaude
Assistance and support Patrícia Bateira
Production Patricia Portela, Helena Serra and Pedro Pires
Running time 50 min aprox.
Text in English

Financed by MC / Instituto Português das Artes and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Co-produced by Wpzimmer (BE), Espaço do Tempo and Lugar Comum, supported by Transforma, Casa Ferreira, Centro Nacional de Cultura, Editora Fenda, Embaixada Lomográfica, Bacardi Portugal, Tesa, Bosch, Xerox.

Special thanks to António Saraiva, Vasco Santos, Sr. Bernardino, Sónia Baptista, Ana Pais, Isabel Garcez, Sr. Nuno Ferreira, SONY, Diana Roquette, Nuno, Impetus, Miguel, Eva Nunes, Hélio Mateus, João Garcia Miguel, Rui Horta and all the Montemor team, among others.