:encontro (encounter) is an initiative aimed towards strengthening the artistic connections between Portugal and Eastern Europe. Presenting a series of collaborative exhibitions from all medias with the purpose of building, communicating and understanding the dimension of collaborative arts and culture. OKNA – Espaço Cultural invites artists to meet, share and gain experience, while the public is invited to discover unexpected dual connections between Portugal and what is to be the New East.

The exhibition presents the works of the Portuguese architecture duo Vale & Calvete (Ana Rita Vale, André Calvete) and Serbian photographer based in Slovakia, Olja Triaška Stefanovič. Presenting the interaction between individuals and territory or the lack of it, both projects are focusing on architectural details as powerful statement of temporal and spatial activity. Through their works, VALECALVETE and Stefanović are highlighting elements of two environments (Portugal and Slovakia) which somehow merge into one compositional unit expressing a common emotion.

→ SOMEONE WAS HERE – Vale & Calvete
The series “Alguém Esteve Aqui (Someone was here)” portraits the relationship between the Portuguese territory and its inhabitants. Despite the absence of human presence in the photographs, they are felt through gestures and specific intentions left in these places. These are records of a naive ability to organize a portion of the world that belongs to them. Therefore, indirectly, they are creating architecture, presenting
others with their spatial honesty, without labeling any forms or methods. The captured photos seek to reveal these anonymous creations.

Ana Rita Vale (Guimarães, 1992) e André Calvete (Figueira da Foz,1991) are the duo of architects VALECALVETE. Both hold a Master in Architecture in Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto since 2016. They have studied in international universities, namely FADU-UBA (Buenos Aires) and IUAV (Venice), and have worked in portuguese and swiss architecture offices. Co-founders and curators of the event “20×20: Ideias em Confronto (Ideas in Confrontation)” and assistants in other architectural activities. Since 2015, they have developed architecture and photography projects as a team, with some of their works being published in several printed and digital publications, in Portugal and overseas.

→ URBAN FRAGMENTS – Olja Triaška Stefanovič
My artwork has been focused for last 15 years on the relationship between man and the space. I was interested in dehumanized, lonely, lost and deprived space of their basic functions. The aim of my visual research through the visual medium of photography is to open up and show what impact one of us has on space and what influence has space on us, how much space can manipulate us and why we can feel lonely in the city or in society. I photograph space as abandoned, lonely, neglected and only with a memory of its past glory. Each photographed space had its own story and its own cultural – political context.

Olja Triaška Stefanović was born in Novi Sad, Serbia in former Yugoslavia. She moved to live in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1997. In 2007 she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the Department of Photography and New Media. In 2015 she was announced as a photographer of the year in Slovakia by Central European house of Photography based in Bratislava. , and in 2017 finished her doctoral studies at Department of Intermedia and multimedia at the same Academy. She works as a lecturer from 2009 at the Department of Photography and New Media at the same Academy.