André Catalão


Within the framework of the platform Coffee Talks, the Brussels-based artist André Catalão, is organizing an open call, as part of his work ‘Chinquilho’, a work presented by the curator Candida Pestana.

André Catalão’s ‘Chinquilho’ considers the disappearance of common social ground and conviviality within society nowadays. Through the recreation of an old, almost extinct, typical game, a space of free representation will be created, so that individuals can play the game and present their own works.

If you are an artist, poet or writer, you are welcome to submit proposals for André Catalão’s work. Submissions are due by May 20, 2012. All proposals will be presented at the work ‘Chinquilho’ as part of the platform ‘Coffee Talks. The presentation will take place at Zurich’s park Josefwiese, around 3 o’clock.

Submissions are due by: May 20, 2012




This proposal has been designed to address certain matters regarding the current existing difficulties on Switzerland’s public art manifestations. Upon the invitation of the curator Candida Pestana, and after a briefing on this matter, a concurrent thought invaded my mind, that later helped building the structure of this work.
Although Portugal was always a country with a strong migrant character, known for its sea traveling and discoveries since the 15th  century, the biggest number of people fleeing the country happened in the late 50’s when about a million fled the country due to the colonial war. Many of them never returned and are still fixed in several countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Considering myself (currently living in Brussels) one of these emigrants fleeing the country for social and also political reasons, I am often cornered in several “social bubbles” of my fellow countrymen.
One of these bubbles has to do with the practice of the rare game of “Chinquilho”, a.k.a “Jogo da Malha”, known throughout central Europe with different nuances. Although highly practiced in the first half of the last century, it has almost disappeared due to a lack of interest with the rise of young generations and new life styles.


In its most common fashion, the game consists of throwing down a pin with a disc from the distance of 25 meters. Parallel to its practice there is also a convivial focus, which takes form by talking, eating and drinking.
Generally there are 2 teams, each one with a pin and a disc. They face each other.
Each team may be composed of as many elements as accorded by both teams.
The game has a maximum of 5 matches.
In the old times (since the 16th century) people would gather around urban spaces, after work to play Chinquilho.


Since the scarce panorama of public performance in the city of Zurich has been the main issue of this project, I thought of a way to build the game pins considering the conventional art existing in some central urban spaces.
In collaboration with the Swiss artist Niklaus Rüegg, a new game of Chinquilho will be produced, with wood carved pins based on the silhouettes of statues or other public works of art present in the city.
The idea is that the gamer, throws down a miniature of a typical public work of art.


The game will be played in a square or park of the city by invited artists, curators, collectors, gallerists, and other common people including Portuguese citizens living in the city. They will be addressed with an open invitation to a championship of Chinquilho, through personal contact and email.
According to the number of people, teams will be formed and the game will start.
There will be food and drinks, as well as poem readings. Other free, unplanned, artistic manifestations may occur during the matches.
The work (box with pins and discs) will later be displayed at Perla Mode Gallery in the subsequent days of the exhibition for anyone who would like take it for a play. The gallerist will keep the ID number and name of the players.

Short Bio

André Catalão (b. Lisbon 1984), is a visual artist and performer living and working in Brussels (Belgium). He has been taking part in shows in Belgium and abroad, such as: Interweave (Zebrastraat, Gent), I eat fish although I don’t fish (Jeu de Paume, Paris), Tasca Project (Expodium, Utrecht), Thank you for tomorrow (Kask, Gent), La Belle Alliance (Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon), One Little Indian (La Generale, Paris), OTIA TVTA (Palácio Pombal, Lisbon), Time Out (El Negocito, Gent), Poliphony (Art Festival, Watou), Cité Radieuse (Gallery Lumiar Cité, Lisbon). Since 2006 he has been developing work around standardization laws, the disappearance of cultural grounds, and heritage forms, which are all themes deeply associated to his personal memories and social experiences.