Inter-discourses of
a textile territory

Contextile takes place in a region where few are the people who have not had contact with Textile. This is a territory intensely imbued with this textile memory and it is in this layer that the 5th edition of the Bienal wants to touch.
The territory and its textile memory provoke new thoughts and new artistic production one wants to rescue from the past, filtering it in the present – and contaminating the future.

Understanding the place through its temporal dimension, thinking and rethinking the definitions based on the relations that are established between geographic and identity space, social and political, artistic and aesthetic, of memory and imagination, thus insisting in the idea of place as inhabited space. Through reflective practices about a place or the resignification of a territory, considering and/or removing topias, it might be possible to give way to new discourses. Appropriating the memory, inhabiting the uninhabited, common or individual, the inane becoming alive.


It is a possible synthetic summary of the 5th edition of Contextile – Textile Art Biennial. This important milestone in the cultural programming of Guimarães returns in 2020 under the motto “Places of Memory – Interdiscourses of a Textile Territory”.

Contextile 2020

Six months before the opening of the 5th edition of Contextile – Contemporary Textile Art Biennial, a pandemic caught the whole world off guard. A circumstance of this dimension could not fail to have an impact on the organization of this event. But, even so, there was an increase in the participation of 40% of artists worldwide, in the various Open Calls launched.

The restrictions on movement between countries are particularly demanding for those who, like this Biennial, make international positioning an essential characteristic. Concerns about the health of all participants – artists, volunteers, the public – and the sanitary measures implemented also implied changes to the program.
The Biennial had to reinvent itself. But it will happen – and on the dates originally planned, between the 5th September and the 25th October. This 5th edition is the result of resilience. This is a characteristic embedded in its genetic code from the beginning.

For two months, the Contemporary Textile Art Biennial returns to occupy various cultural facilities and the public space of the city and, this time, also the virtual space.
The pandemic implied migrating to the digital part of the program of conversations and visits. The artistic residency program also had to be adapted to the moment, exploring new methodologies for the relationship between artists and with the community. But, whatever the format, Contextile will not fail to fulfill its challenge: placing Textile in the context of Contemporary Art.

Slide FEATURED Stephen
Schofield's work is driven by a dedicated engagement with materiality. His sculptures, drawings and performances are deeply considered and investigate a series of dualities: weakness and strength; rigidity and flexibility; the kinetic and the static, sussing out a tension between presence and weight. CANADA
Slide FEATURED Magda
Magda Soboń graduated from the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland Faculty of Textiles and Clothing. Currently, professor at the Paper Studio in her alma mater. She deals with the handmade paper, textile and graphics. Poland

Contextile was born in Guimarães

Contextile was born in Guimarães, a Territory of Textile Culture, always in close articulation with companies in the sector for whom resisting has been their way of life for over a century. How many times has Textile’s death been proclaimed? And yet, here it is. The Biennial could not also fail to be here, even in a year marked by global uncertainty and apprehension.