For the art project When guests become host / Porto -curated by Danielle van Zuijlen-, Supersudaca proposed to realize a city guide of Porto in collaboration with local artists, architects, students and all kind of local story-tellers. This guide does not present ‘The 100 places you have to see before you die’ nor ‘The 100 best spots in Porto 2010‘, nor ‘What you definitely should not miss’, but instead a non-coherent and non-exhaustive catalogue of ‘100 places of Porto you willnot see anymore, because they already disappeared’.
The complete publication is the result and compilation of three weeks of residence in Culturgest artspace in Porto, where Supersudaca installed a temporary office, organizing discussions, lectures and worksessions with a large group of local collaborators. Since it was decided to work on the city’s memory, this book/project could only be realized with people who know the city. ‘When guests become host’: Supersudaca, as foreigner, as guest, could invite the owners of the cities’ memory during this residency, to write about and express themselves on their own city, thereby realising a very interactive collaborative project.
Too late! brings together photographs, collages, drawings, histories, models, clippings of 100 places, events and rituals that have already disappeared from the (visible) city of Porto. The proposal is to ‘take a break’ and to resist, in a poetic way, the way cities are branded, sold and consumed as merely tourist products. The usual ‘must have seen’ lists include all the ‘official’ best places in the world named each year by Unesco, Tourist Councils, gigantic travel agencies, etc. The problem of these lists is that they are exhaustive, while they give you the feeling it is necessary to visit all the hot spots as soon as you can. You will always be anxious, because you never know if the destination of your choice was really the right one for that summer holiday. The free moments of life become a to do list with a deadline, as if it were homework.
The present city guide has a totally different thought behind it. Since all the places and/or events presented in the guide have already disappeared (it’s too late, you missed it!), there is no hurry anymore, no tickets to rush and buy, no crowds anymore to go through to take a single picture. So you can visit the city of Porto when you want, or even just reading the guide. Do it in a relaxed way, take your time.
The guide is not intended for foreigners only; it is also an opportunity for locals to discover their own city through other eyes. We were collecting an abundance of small stories, the stories which make a city real. The guidebook can be read as a novel, an art book, a sociological work, or as a compilation of bed-timestories.