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Pedro Cabrita Reis


In cooperation with the municipality of Gnas


Institut for Art in Public Space Styria


Curated by Elisabeth Fiedler and Peter Pakesch
Opening: March, 7th 2022
Duration: March to December 2022



Info project: +43-316/8017-9265
Info press: +43-316/8017-9213 und -9211

About the project


Pedro Cabrita Reis (* 1956 in Lisbon), one of the most important Portuguese artists of the present day, works with civilisation’s remnants and building material. Time and again he creates new spaces or reinterprets old ones. Invited years ago to south eastern Styria by Peter Pakesch, he was fascinated by the tile grid architecture of the region.

He has created a new space in a piece of forest in Poppendorf from his enquiries into space, architecture and cultural remembrance, and into collective and individual memories. This space engages in dialogue with its surroundings, revealing thereby a new reality. 21 benches made from bricks, into which pairs of words are engraved, give rise to a spatial poem. Assembly/Versammlung is an autonomous work of art, which represents both a sculpture (and furniture piece) and a basis for communication – and contemplation, too.





Pedro Cabrita Reis, Artist:

“Woods and forests have been always (at least in the tradition of folk or children’s tales)

connected to narratives of fear, suspense, loss, anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness sometimes.

The unlikely possibility of escaping the gloom of the forest and its dark enchantment, wondering in a no return place, inhabited by many strange and almost invisible beings, amidst the most frightening silence during the brief moments of daylight or the ravaging sounds that haunt the endless night, all of this is, in one way or another, part of our most hidden and obscure memories even if we aren’t any longer aware of them.

Opposite to this, Assembly/Versammlung is a place for Light, Clarity, Conviviality and proposes moments for Encounters, implies the awareness of the Other and its difference, it’s also a place where we gather to celebrate Tolerance, Serenity or, when alone, our mind may drift and might call for the reflections on how we are part of the same Nature that surrounds us. Assembly/Versammlung gives us back the Forest as an epiphany of Pure Happiness.”



Peter Pakesch, Curator and Project Initiator:

“In the spring of 2008, Pedro Cabrita Reis set up his large installation True Gardens #6 in Kunsthaus Graz. The futuristic architecture of the exhibition center was contrasted with a futuristic-baroque labyrinth of technical materials.

After the opening of the project, the artist came to visit East Styria and expressed the desire to develop a permanent work there. It took some time for this counter-model in the forest below Poppendorf Castle to arise: 21 simple brick cubes scattered among the trees. From the urban exhibition hall, as well as from the stern notion of the French garden to the romantic image of the nature of the English garden in the forest. A place of reflection and relaxation for hikers. An ensemble where 21 pairs of words engraved in the brick blocks transform the setting into a lyrical space.”



Elisabeth Fiedler, Director of the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria:

“Pedro Cabrita Reis not only gathers us up in his work Assembly/Versammlung, he also opens up new space for us. Instead of occupying a site, the artist whisks us away to a chosen location to sharpen perception, to be able to rediscover reality and make new realities accessible. 21 blocks of bricks, each inscribed with a pair of words that create a spatial poem, rest within themselves. At the same time, positioned in the middle of a forest, they beckon us to exchange ideas, open our senses and unfold our spirit.”



Gerhard Meixner, Mayor of Gnas:

“The market town of Gnas is very proud of these benches in the Schlosswald forest in Poppendorf. Especially in our hectic and confusing time, this place of rest encourages you to pause, find peace, listen to your mind and soul, and allow yourself to be inspired by the chirping of birds. This art in public space fits wonderfully into our hiking trail – the artist and his companions capture the spirit of the times, especially now, after many months of uncertainty in all areas of our society. A big thank you to the Province of Styria for the support.”


Christopher Drexler, Styrian Provincial Councilor for Culture:

I am very pleased that Pedro Cabrita Reis, a renowned and internationally recognized installation artist, is presenting his works in Styria once again. This shows yet again that Styria, the land of culture, enjoys a good reputation beyond its borders and that art and culture are strongly embedded in the Styrian regions.

The combination of human-made artefacts and nature shown by the work Assembly/Versammlung is a wonderful example of the versatile role art can play in public spaces and how it is sure to appeal to a wide range of people and invite them to linger. Especially in light of recent geopolitical events – due to the war we are currently experiencing in Europe – Pedro Cabrita Reis' approach to creating a place to gather, a place for tolerance and serenity, is all the more significant.



Publication is permitted exclusively in the context of announcements and reviews related to the project. Please avoid any cropping of the images. Thank you for crediting the photographs according to the enclosed indications.

Press images Expand Box


Pedro Cabrita Reis, Assembly/Versammlung,
Pedro Cabrita Reis, Assembly/Versammlung,

Foto: Josepha Pakesch

Pedro Cabrita Reis-Assembly Versammlung-c-Josepha Pakesch.jpg (0.59 MB)

"Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis,
"Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Ansicht-Assembly Versammlung-Pedro-Cabrita-Reis.JPG (11.68 MB)

"Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis,
"Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Ansicht Assembly Versammlung 2.jpg (9.78 MB)

Opening: "Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis,
Opening: "Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis,

Ingrid Wiener, Vice Mayor Elisabeth Triebl, Member of the National Council Agnes Totter, Head of Universalmuseum Joanneum Alexia Getzinger, Curator and Project Initiator Peter Pakesch, Provincial Council for Culture Christopher Drexler, Head of Universalmuseum Joanneum Wolfgang Muchitsch, Mayor Gerhard Meixner, and in front Head Institute for Art in Public Space Styria, Artist Pedro Cabrita Reis, Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Gruppenfoto Assembly.jpg (0.92 MB)

Artist Pedro Cabrita Reis,
Artist Pedro Cabrita Reis,

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Kuenstler Pedro Cabrita Reis.jpg (4.72 MB)

A part of "Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis
A part of "Assembly" by Pedro Cabrita Reis

Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Kunstwerk einzeln.JPG (4.79 MB)

Press contact


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