Look at the Distant . Look at Before


a journey to the stars

Departing from the specific characteristics of the astronomical observations and trying to give relevance to the morphological characteristics of the city of Coimbra, the performance occurred in two separate places: one higher, the top of a building in the upper part of the city, the other in a lower place, in Parque Verde, close to the river. The audience attended the performance in the lower place and observed what was going on in the upper place through images captured by a telescope and then projected on a screen.

The distant relation observer/observed was intended to raise questions like the inaccessibility of the “true” knowledge of reality, the existence of intermediaries and the implications associated in the observation and then the transmission of knowledge, the way we relate space and time.

Attending the show in the lower venue was free. Attending the show in the upper venue, the roof of the Library of the University of Coimbra, costed 5000 euros and was restricted to one person.

This had a strong analogy with the space tourism activities. The buyers of the ticket to the performance/constellation would follow the ascending path of knowledge inside the library. Finally, they would stand on top of that knowledge, closer to the magnificent constellations which paint the starry sky (recently considered world heritage by UNESCO), and attending a performance just for themselves.

The original text, written during the process of construction of the performance, addresses recent astronomical issues in contrast with the myths traditionally associated with the constellations we can watch in the sky.

Look at the Distant . Look at Before was presented in Coimbra on August 29th and 30th and on September 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th and 22th. It participated in the commemorations of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.


Text and direction: Mário Montenegro | Discussion and ideas: Mário Montenegro, Alexandre, Anabela Fernandes, Pedro Andrade, Rui Simão, Rui Capitão, Francisco Queimadela e Mariana Caló | Performed by: Alexandre, Anabela Fernandes, Mário Montenegro | Stage design, costume, props and image: Pedro Andrade | Original sountrack: Rui Capitão | Technical direction and lighting: Rui Simão | Video: Francisco Queimadela e Mariana Caló | Photography: Francisca Moreira | Executive production: Cristiana Morais

Production: Marionet 2008


DG Artes – Ministério da Cultura, Complexo Parque Verde,  Mondego, Câmara Municipal de Coimbra, MAFIA – federação cultural de coimbra, Ano Internacional da Astronomia – 2009, Ilídio Design Cabeleireiros, Rádio Universidade de Coimbra – RUC, Universidade de Coimbra, SAC, O Teatrão, Orquestra Clássica do Centro.


Makro de Coimbra, Água Luso, TEUC, Extintel, A Escola da Noite, DGEEI – Eng. Mário Carvalhal, Eng. Filipe Noro, Eng. Fernando Martins, Observatório Astronómico – Dr. Claudino Romeiro, Planetário do Porto – Nelma Silva, Prof. Dr. Carlos Fiolhais, Dr. Maia do Amaral, Prof. Dra. Carlota Simões, Prof. Dr. João Fernandes, Pedro Feio, Carlos Oliveira, Francisco Moreira, Elísio Sousa, Livraria XM, Museu da Ciência da Universidade de Coimbra, Alpha Centauri, Jonathan Azevedo, Maria João Feio