Cut by all sides, open by all corners invites the audience to a rhapsodic journey through the territories that configure an art space as a performative, sociological and architectonic space and its connections to the surrounding world. Thought as a site-specific project, the project is an itinerant piece through its architecture  as an expanded sculpture. Through positioning, re-staging, where the spectator/visitor stands, the piece reconfigures its role through a theater in dislocation. Just as in a sculpture, where the cut gives access to a fruition that includes the reality around, the theatre (as the museum) is this multiple and complex site, cut by all sides, open by all corners, which hosts people in different platforms of interaction and distinct agents in operation.


By way of comparison to the relational sculptures of minimalist artists Donald Judd and Robert Rauschenberg, characterized by the inclusion of elements of subtle interactive appeal, Cut by all sides, open by all corners displaces and relocates the elements that produce theatricality and generate attention by moving them to other spaces in the same building and neighboring areas. An expanded theatre sets in, activated by the audience, through its position in space, its viewing points. A theater (a museum) is thus re-shaped with the same elements that distinguish it and constitute it as an experience.

In his controversial text of 1967, Art and Objecthood, Michael Fried attacks what he considered to be a degeneration of the art of his time: theatricality. Marked by happenings, live art performances, Fluxus and Pop Art, the 1960s witnessed the taking of the visual arts by the performativity present in relational works. The works of Donald Judd and Robert Morris challenged the way visitors viewed a sculpture by inviting people to interaction and play. The defense in relating to the context that surrounds and involves an artwork has paved the way for the performative and the relational to invade the space of the gallery.


How to return to this element of theater that has generated so many routes of exploration in other areas? How to take advantage of the relational materiality of the elements to establish situations, activate contexts and reposition the audience? How to use the art space as a primal matter of work and expand it beyond its routine modes of action and re-launch it as a relational sculpture?


Cut by all sides, open by all corners was commissioned by the Portuguese National Theatre Dona Maria II, in partnership with Alkantara Festival for the 2018 Spring season. It has counted with the support of Walk&Talk Arts Festival, Teatro Micaelense, Espaço do Tempo, DEVIR-CAPA, 23 Milhas – Centro Cultural de Ílhavo for its artistic residencies and with the co-production of 23 Milhas – Ílhavo and Walk & Talk Arts Festival, alongside TNDM II and Alkantara Festival.

In June 2019, the project was invited by Museu Fundação de Serralves in partnership with Cia. Instável to re-install it in a museum situation at Casa de Serralves alongside an exposition by Antoni Muntadas, during the multi-disciplinary festival, Serralves em Festa.

This project has been funded by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture – Direcção Geral das Artes – DGArtes.



23 Milhas Ílhavo


Walk & Talk

Museu de Serralves



Frieze MagazineCristina Sanchez-Korzyreva, London & New York, August 2018. “The charming performance Cut by all sides, open by all corners (2018) by artist Gustavo Ciríaco at the Teatro Micaelense in the Azorean capital Ponta Delgada, invites viewers not only to participate – my group blew balloons and released them as ‘birds’ above other groups who performed as a volcano and ocean – but also to roam through the theatre’s backstage, office and dressing rooms. Ciríaco describes his piece as ‘rhapsodic’, and it is. Like good masseuses, performers softly take care of the transitions between the acts by calling the audience and directing it to follow through the movements of their hands on the walls. The work includes dance, music and singing, and poetic tableaux vivants visible from the stairway or the rooftop.”

Revista Visão – “Cut, open, explore: voyage to the center of the theater by the hands of Gustavo Ciríaco”

“Here the stage is the theater Dona Maria II so are its corridors, lodges, office and rehearsal rooms. The stage is where the actors are so far as we follow them, without interruptions, with no assigned seat, in this inside out discovery odyssey through theater till its seams, as if it were a sculpture”

Diário de Notícias 

Jornal i – The theater building as a scuplture.

“Cut by all sides, open by all corners. Unexpected, always, sometimes contemplative, other times claustrophobic, other times interventive, with the space, with the audience, in a series of episodes, moments, walking through corridors, rooms, open or closed spaces. Place to dance, watch dance, sing, listen to Carla Gomes or even having to sing – like on a birthday party. Whether at the beginning or end of the party, depends on the perspective. Fulfilled is the initial promise that there will be theater, there will be actors and that, around the corner, will awaiting us a new scene. It is listening to Carla Gomes, early on, singing soon it will be over, let’s gonna make it worth”. And go.”

Jornal de Negócios – “If my memory were a theater, would you promise to go through it? “Cut by all sides, open by all corners” has a unique strength. Able to make a crowd of almost 90 people naturally come down to silently hear a piano play. Or in the room that houses the costumes of that theater, see the actors dance and then solidify, turn into living sculptures. It’s such a beautiful party, one that makes us not want to give up. Because we feel part, however much we are just passing by.”

O Observador  – “There is surprise and mystery in every corner of the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II”

Ípsilon – Público 

Umbigo Magazine – “The floor follows in various directions, and the space turns as into Escher’s Relativity (1953), as if we were going through an exploded section of the building on a full scale. Driven by “a rhapsodic journey through the territories that make theater a scenic, sociological, and architectural space,” we come to know its bowels as if we inhabited a huge animal digesting. ”

Contracenas –“We are proof and witness that our land is this: a land where we are but actors and spectators, a land where one rises, descends, listens, smiles.”

Interviews (in Portuguese)

Artistic residencies

Casa de Serralves and Cia Instável/FAICC. Porto, Portugal. May 1st-5th, 2109.

Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II, Lisbon, Portugal. April 3rd-20th + May 7th-25th, 2018.

23 Milhas, Centro Cultural de Ílhavo.  April 24th-May 6th, 2018.Public presentation: May 4th and 5th.

Devir/CAPA-Centro de Artes Performativas do Algarve, Faro, Portugal. March 6th-18th, 2018.

Espaço do Tempo, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal. February 6th-18th, 2018.

Walk & Talk – Arts Festival, Teatro Micaelense, Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands, Portugal. July 17-27, 2017. Public presentation, July 27th, 2017.

Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP, Guest Artist in Residence Program-  pilot project under an educational frame. Campinas, Brazil. March-June 2017. Public presentations: June 28th & 29th.

Conception and artistic direction Gustavo Ciríaco

Direction and dramaturgy assistance Catalina Lescano

Performers and collaborators Ana Trincão, Rodrigo Andreolli, Sara Zita Correia and Tiago Barbosa

Guest singer | TNDM II Carla Gomes

Performers | Museu Serralves Ana Rita Xavier, Arianna Romano, Carlos Alves, Catarina Saraiva, Elsa Pereira, Fabricio Silva, Gabrielle Mendieta, Ioanna Toliou, João Gabriel Lima, Larissa Dias, Maria Inês Costa,  Matilde Tudela and Thamiris Carvalho

Performers | Teatro Micaelense Amelia Lopes, Ana Cordeiro, Eleonora Marino, Fernando Nunes, Filipa Chaves, João Malaquias, Lina Silveira, Luis Grave and Rita Costa Medeiros

Performers | TNDM II André Loubet, Diana Narciso, Gonçalo Egito, João Estima, José Neves, Lúcia Maria, Manuel Coelho, Paula Mora, Rita Delgado and Sara Inês Gigante.

Performers | Centro Cultural de Ílhavo – 23 Milhas Dulce Ferreira, Ermelinda Rodrigues, Joana Silva, João Rodrigues, João Mendes and Vitória Silva

Sound artist Bruno Humberto

Lightning design Tomás Ribas

Set design Sara Vieira Marques

Executive production Sinara Suzin

Production direction  & management Jesse James – Anda & Fala

Communication direction António Pedro Lopes

Co-production Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II, Alkantara Festival, Walk & Talk – Festival de Artes, 23 Milhas – Centro Cultural de Ílhavo

Artistic residency Walk&Talk Festival, Espaço do Tempo, Devir/CAPA, TNDM II, 23 Milhas – Ílhavo e Teatro Micaelense

Research residency Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP, through its program Artista em Residência 2017


Serralves em Festa, Fundação Museu Serralves. Porto, Portugal. June 1st & 2nd, 2019.

Walk & Talk Arts Festival, Teatro Micaelense. Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands, Portugal.  June 29th & 30th, 2018.

Alkantara Festival, Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II. Lisbon, Portugal. May 29th, 30th & 31st, 2018. PREMIÈRE.

Ilustração à Vista, Centro Cultural de Ílhavo – 23 Milhas.  Ílhavo, Portugal. May 4th and 5th, 2018. Avant-Première.




Photos by Filipa Couto and Fernando Resendes (Ponta Delgada), Maycon Soldano (Campinas), Vera Marmelo (Lisbon) and António Pedro Lopes (Porto).