Dias úteis

Living according to Patrícia Portela by Miguel Real in Jornal de Letras, 12 07 17
“In Dias Úteis Patrícia Portela operates the aesthetical miracle of transforming the enumeration of the days of the week and its daily content in a perfect synthesis of her interpretation of Life (…)
(…) the motto of this novela or collection of short stories is unified by this paradoxal idea: it is chance and contingency that command life, not determinism; it is need, not society institutional constraint; it is less coercion than moral duty, and yet (and here lies the paradox) all chance is the result of human effort, what we designate as “luck” (or fortune, or destiny in more classical terms), and it is born from the spatial and temporal contingency of Being there (p. 15, 2º e 3ºs).
Once in a while our “useful days” (Dias Úteis) are abruptly interrupted; we notice a wonder, we are astonished, amazed: there is a “big trapdoor”, a “hole of the world” (p.21) paraphrase of the UNPREDICTABILITY of Existence; there is no reason, no what, no why for Life – the players, incapable of overcoming such astonishment, such metaphysical hole, mask it with Religion, Philosophy, Science, Ideologies, Indubitable certainties that can feed our “useful days”.
(…) truly said, (DIAS ÚTEIS) is a real punch in the stomach of the Reader.
(…) in a melancholic text and an ironic tone, Patrícia Portela makes evident the exhaustion of our civilization, the “matrix” that has guided us for 2500 years. A novela one should not feel, but instead truly think about… “

Unattended prayers – Sílvia Souto Cunha in Visão, 13 07 17
“A new and striking book from a gifted writer who is capable of subverting and reinventing the great “machine of the world” (…).
If there were gods who created the world in six days taking a rest on the seventh, Patrícia Portela may now call herself the demiurge of an admirable week. (…) Following a recognizable temporal logic, with each chapter attributed to a day in the week, Patrícia Portela torpedoes predictability with philosophical escapes and stage instructions. (and) writes about death, love, identity, refugees, loss, the planet, dreams – in a truly original manner. (Portela) impresses us with a powerful visual portrait of a failed departure from home, (…) an allusion to those who have lost their homes but also their countries (…) Friday (as) a mourning day (…) (DIAS ÚTEIS) is a “Judas’ kiss”, she warns us…

The meaning of the Game by José Mário Silva in Expresso, 07-17
“The fact that the reader never knows what to expect from a Portela text is one of the best qualities of her writing. (…) In her new short stories book, Patrícia Portela reveals once again her immense literary talent and her effervescent imagination.”
In the literary works of Patrícia Portela, one of the most complete Portuguese multidisciplinary artists, we can find experimental fictions written in an almost savage inventiveness – strange objects that leave the reader without knowing which position to take or what to expect. “Dias Úteis” is no exception: it opens with a “Preface” longer than any other story, closes with an unwritten “Epitaph” and includes “stage notes” where the book itself takes the main stage and addresses the reader directly to explain how it should be read. (…) The narratives, one for each day of the week, are exercises on the imminence of falling. Real and imaginary dives abound, abysses, dreamlike deliriums, mental labyrinths, aimless wanderings. (…) Always present, as much lucid as melancholic, there is an awareness of our precarious position in the natural order of things: “We look for the exact place where reason comes from ignoring that logic will never avoid pain. We make sense because we are able to fall, not because we will be able to fly”.

“Is there enthusiasm without illusion?” – Hugo Pinto dos Santos in Público, 07 17
Literary genres, modalities of expression and expected achievements, they all get an inventive treatment under the rebel hand of Patricia Portela. An exercise in speculation and incitement on the complexity and enigma of a daily routine. (…) DIAS ÚTEIS is the political denouncement of an era that has projected an utopia that redundantly ended in dystopia (but) is not exactly about disenchantment; instead, human matter becomes working matter from the perspective of a certain notion of despair that intends to cause a reaction that can shake off the accumulated dust we carry due to our inertia. This is how the build-up of common places both in the phraseology and in the routine becomes a cutting weapon, a pitch against the psychological (and physical) violence of a self-destructive daily life. (…) The cliché is used as a technique to handle the most powerful of all clichés: everyday life. To explore it as a caricature of itself with it’s excesses and it’s incommensurability is but one of the devises of this book. (…) Just as in A Colecção Privada de Acácio Nobre (Caminho, 2016), with it’s principle of indetermination — of the literary genre and of everything else – or in O Banquete, (Caminho, 2012) making use of a scientific discourse, DIAS ÚTEIS is a disassembly of the several attributes of the literary system: the confession, the genre, the art forms, the grid where the narrative categories do (not) fit in, the solidity and the reliability of a narrator’s voice.
(…) Patrícia Portela seems to be searching for the refusal of an univocal voice while uniting essay and fiction, drama and drift in a text that seduces all genres to thoroughly refuse being reduced to any of them.

LIFE IN FREE STYLE – João Gobern In Diário de Notícias
Portela insists on subverting the norm, just as she did in previous books. (…)
In DIAS ÚTEIS – almost everything can happen, from intimate, intense and anguished reflections, to one of those endless preparations to go on a vacation trip that we know are bound to only happen in our dreams, to a creepy and indelible farewell. Each step shows us the most distinctive and adequate writing. There are rhythms for (almost) all tastes. There are afflicted confessions, exercises in style. Soon we conclude that really useful will be the day we will get to return to the challenges of this woman that never seems to depart from the place where we last left her. A woman that never knows where she will arrive at. But for sure she will get far, pretty far.

THE ART OF EXISTING –André Santos in Sábado
DIAS ÚTEIS by Patrícia Portela works the daily life impasses and constructs a week where each day is a plan to solve the everyday spiral. (…) The elasticity of the introduction creates the ideal rhythm with which the author works her words and concepts in the following chapters. Her writing is a weapon that breaks the routine of the protagonist and enables us to read some humour in DIAS ÚTEIS. After all… There is always something witty in the frustrations we can all recognize in one another.


“Can a children’s book written by a mother and a daughter be a philosophical treatise? Yes it can. And we can only thank them for it.”
Gabriela Lourenço in Visão

“Challenging arguments and the logic we presume only belongs to adults, Zoëlógica is a collection of philosophical reflections desguised as a children story.”
João Pedro Oliveira in Parágrafo

“Here is a new concept of a children book. They (Patrícia and Zoë) call it a chatting-book. Because “all the drawings and all the stories were born from conversations and none of them are finnished” (…) Zoëlógica is a lesson on the beauty one can find when ready to listen to the other and dream through the other’s eyes. In other words, an exercise on love and education. Easily one of the best books of the year.”
Time Out, 2016

The private collection of Acácio Nobre

“We are already accustomed to the fact that each new novel by Patrícia Portela is a feast for the understanding and a pleasure for the senses. However, this one, regarding it’s historical investigation, it’s aesthetical imagination, the creation of sensible atmospheres while playing with the inter-artistic contemporary universes, and the multiple use of (literary) registers, has surpassed everything we could have expected of the most innovative Portuguese writer of our time.”
Miguel Real in Jornal de Letras, 27 04 16

“Patrícia Portela proceeds with enthusiasm and brilliance the recovery of an invisible genius.”
José Mário Silva in Expresso weekly newspaper 10 06 16

“Readers may question the veracity of his story (…). But aren’t we all, one way or another, doing nothing but constantly and persistently justifying and confirming our existence to the world through our actions and creations? Acácio Nobre managed to do it…”
João Morales in Time Out, 25 05 16

“Author bends the limits of fiction in work on Portuguese artist. (…) by playing with the several ways onde can read, this curious book turns the (nowadays) well behaved format of the novel upside down. Patrícia Portela delivers a surprise box to the readers for them to play with.”
Leonardo Gandolfi, Folha de São Paulo, Brazil, 01-18


“(Wasteband) is so distant from a conventional novel as the Earth is from the Moon.”
in Visão magazine, 02 2014

“All good novels are experimental. (…) But some are more experimental than others. (…) With literary craftsmanship and inventive formal play sets, Patrícia Portela does not describe this project (Wasteband) which never really happened. Instead, she asks the reader to be part of the experience itself, turning literature into a game.”
Luís Ricardo Duarte in Time Out Lisbon, 02 2014

“Patrícia Portela takes us (in Wasteband) through a time labyrinth, a fantastic adventure where we are confronted with the thin line between reality and fiction. (…) A translation on paper of a dream and a limitless imagination.”
FS in Jornal de Negócios, 02 2014

” (in Wasteband) Everything is strange, but also familiar, and it is due to this impression that it becomes fascinating. (…)”
Carla Ribeiro in


“fragmented poetry between the interior and exterior of caves and inexplicable phenomena, no one comes out untouched by the impact of the prose of this novelist. (The Banquet) is a novel that thinks itself.”
Carlos Câmara Leme em Colóquio Ler 2014

«[…] The non-classifiable imagination of Patrícia Portela»; «What makes us sell our soul these days?»
Carlos Vaz Marques, «Livros do Dia», TSF, 14 03 2014

«[…] a difficult book, demanding, sometimes obscure»,
«Atual», Expresso, 29-9-2012, pp. 28-29, José Mário Silva

“The Banquet by Patrícia Portela is an unidentifiable-literary-object. An Oddness that knocks you down. (…)
«Ípsilon», Púbico, 29-3-2013, Raquel Ribeiro, p. 29

Going up not North

“[Para Cima e não para Norte] is the most important Portuguese Novel of 2008.”
António Levy in Livros Com Rum, RUM, 12 2008

“With her new book “Para Cima e não para Norte”, Patrícia Portela reinforces her connection with performace in a fantasy story that talks about geometry, terrorism, mediatization of society and the ambition of knowledge. All wrapped in a graphic design with no chains.”
João Morales in Os meus livros, 07 2013


“No portuguese narrative has operated such subversion on the idea of representation of reality since the 70’s […], Patrícia Portela creates in Odilia a unique language, overwhelming, mesmerizing.”
Miguel Real in Jornal de Letras 5 12 2008


The private collection of Acácio Nobre

“On stage we witness a dialogue between Patricia Portela and André Teodósio – or rather between a typewriter and a computer. And it is this dialogue between eras, between different ways of being and thinking that is presented on stage. ”
Maria João Caetano in Diário de Notícias, 10/09/10

“Patricia’s words are as torrential as those of the play that can be seen in the house of the Maria Matos Theatre. And I say house because, little by little, the performance (i.e., the inside of Acácio Nobre’s head) comes sprawling into the entire space, enveloping the audience in a tornado of light (letters that are projected on to the audience), sound (the typewriter, to a greater or lesser degree), and even smells. ”
Alexandra Prado Coelho in Público 10/09/10

“Nobre is the embodiment and synthesis of many of the ideas and technological changes of the late 19th and early 20th century. And Portela presents them in a surprising way. (…) Like an open door, the tables (on stage), resemble grand pianos with elegant steel benches that seem to float in space. Portela, and her fellow performer Andre Teodósio appear, as if they were two concert pianists.
“As spectators we have to follow each moment carefully to avoid missing a thing and curiously it is this effort that produces a striking evocation of a revolutionary era, as if it were the demonstration of the fascination we still feel when we look back at these times.
“A beautiful concert of ideas.”
Pieter T’Jonk in De Morgen 17/02/11

The Banquet

“The Banquet is about big issues such as life and death. A complex but charming and delicious puzzle.“
Pieter t’jonck in De Morgen, 2007

DNA al dente: Surprising mix of philosophical and terrestrial ingredients to munch over our immortality. Bon Appétit!”
Catherine Makereel in Le Soir, 2007

Flatland I

“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


“the ingenious production WasteBand by the Portuguese Patricia Portela.(…) is (a) travel program into the best of allegories, WasteBand. Fundamental science, distorted signs and fake history give evidence in this performance of a real existing parallel universe of stories. The audience sits around a large conference table together with the artists and are taken on a masterfully calculated flight path through this universe.(…) Portela projects dream dancers in zero gravity, remainders of memories of reality and the dissolving love story of Tania and Jose. «We live inside an enormous novel» says Portela, the poetical travel guide and dazzling speaker, «in which nothing must be invented: all these images already exist”.
Helmut Ploebst in de Standard, Vienna, Austria

“WasteBand – the taste of the future”
“very futuristic, very conceptual, and also very amusing (…) The future is always tempting”.
José Couto Nogueira in O Independente

“WasteBand is a play of fusion in which everything connects”
Cátia Felício in Público

“WasteBand makes use of humor and music, offering a kind of work-in-progress, in which real time happens after virtual time. (…) the performer uses rhetorical forms such as the debate, the conference, the monologue, and speaks to us of love stories. (…) The final structure takes a form somewhere between a soap-opera, a video game and an internet environment”.
In Número Magazine

“It was a memorable show for those who were present, on the 6th November, at the Cine-Teatro in Covilhã, at the performance of WasteBand by Patrícia Portela, part of the Y#2 Festival. It was the breaking of all taboos regarding how to make theatre, to be on stage and most of all how to “grab” the spectator”
António Gil In Jornal da Covilhã

“a remarkable process of rebuilding the place of the text in theatre, namely the place of the word in its direct relationship with the audience (…) during the performance, the spectator drifts between perplexity, an overload of information and the recognition of human vulnerability (…)
(…) the saturation of information, as much in terms of the stories, told in great detail, as in the images and the scientific (and pseudoscientific) documentation, that show the way to an opening up of emotion, so unusual at the current moment in culture and the arts”
(…) in a thorough and intelligent structure, in which nothing is left to chance, Patrícia Portela uses the theatre to search for a strategy to communicate with the spectator, researching and renewing storytelling formats”.
Ana Pais in Sinais de Cena



“sleep is the last resource of protest”
Patrícia Portela was for the first time at the Festival de Artes de Macau with “Parasomnia”, a visual and sound installation with a performative dimension that incites the spectator to slow down, and surrender to an oscillating state between slumber and wakeness. A way of questioning the place of sleep in a daily routine where sleplesness is imposed as a symbol for productivity, a work conceived by an artist and writer used to challenge any treshold or border with evidence.
Patrícia Portela em entrevista a Sílvia Gonçalves, Ponto Final, Macau

“Parasonmia is not about sleep but about staying awake. Awake in times of confusion and impotence. “I cannot sleep since you died” announces a voice in front of Time itself while it is running. The central theme of this piece is a poetical treaty on time, and most of all, in how to relate with time.”
Thiago Arrais In Ensaios Ruminantes sobre a obra performativa de Patrícia Portela

“As it happens with a kid, it happens with art, there is something that cannot be controlled. It forces you to waste time. You do not know where it will take you to. The problem is private but the choice to admit it is political. You resist the compulsion to profit from every second of your life. Sleep is the last area that escapes this profitability compulsion, although neuroscience already wants to exploit that field. We have to relearn to give each other and ourselves time to dream. ”
Patrícia Portela interviewed by Pieter T’Jonck for De Morgen

NL “(…)Zo’n kind is, net als kunst, iets dat niet te controleren valt. Het dwingt tot tijdverlies. Je weet niet waar je uitkomt. Het probleem is privé, maar de keuze om eraan toe te geven is politiek. Je verzet je tegen de dwang om elke seconde van je leven te rentabiliseren. Slaap is het laatste terrein dat daaraan ontsnapt, al wil de neurowetenschap ook dat ontginnen. We moeten terug leren om elkaar én onszelf tijd te schenken om te dromen.”
Patrícia Portela in een interview met Pieter T’Jonc in De Morgen

“In a museum, visitors consume art as if they were in a department store, but I would prefer that people would daydream away. ”
Patricia Portela about” Parasomnia” in De Morgen, Belgium

“Parasomnia is a phenomenological philosophical experience in real time.”
Guy Delincé, a frequent Kaaitheater spectator

“Visitng your installation today at kaaistudio was truly a mind expanding experience. Such a precise and yet free travel. Thank you”
Nathalie Rozanes, a note by a spectator in Kaaitheaterstudios


“Hortus” is simultaneously a place of fiction (…) and a place of amplification of senses and activation of natural awareness of the surrounding environment. ”
Claudia Galhós in Expresso, 23 06 12

“Hortus is an experience of sensitive sharing, where the interaction between the visitor and nature is grounded in a set of non-premeditation. (..) Hortus is both an installation and a statement on the idea of ??community. ”
Tiago Bartolomeu Costa in Ypsilon, Publico, 22 06 12

“Christoph de Boeck passé du monde à l’investigation vegetable. Puisque les plantes des Signaux echange, est-il of Possible reconstituer pour elles une infrastructure artificielle of communication, the internet Limage d’? At suivre. ‘
Victoire, De morgen, February 26, 2011

“In this philosophical garden “(…) we thought walking, (…) and question our relationship with nature, the paths through which leads the economy, and the world around us.”
Gabriela Lourenco in Vision 21 06 12

“Good News! Hortus “A suggestion for an artificial ecology (not to be missed since part of this event is by Patrícia Portela) with a sound installation that responds to various stimuli. There are stories to accompany the sound and a literary salon with several guests, from different areas, which will discuss the future of society. Probably with better results than any UN summit. ”
Afonso Cruz in Visão, Radar Flashback, 28 06 2012