Departing from the investigation on the use of visual representation during the dictatorship in Portugal (1932 –1974), I took as study case the Exposiçao do Mundo Portugues (Exposition of the Portuguese World) held in Lisbon in 1940, involving Portugal and its colonies (provìncias ultramarine), in a majestic propagandistic display in the area of Belem, along the Tejo river in Lisbon. Several pavilions and monuments, erected in this occasion, are still in place today, functioning now as tourists’ sites.
Among those, the Monument to the Discoveries, erected in wood and plaster for the Exposition of the Portuguese World and rebuild permanently in concrete and stone twenty years later, in 1960, still under the Salazarian regime, in the honor of the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.
My attempt is to generate a narrative around the Monument to the Discoveries, based on the very historical events its represents: the discoveries of the rout via sea to India and Brazil.
Few months ago I came across an article on the Indian magician P.C. Sorcar JR, descendent from eight gen-erations of magicians and actually based in Kolkata. In 2000 he succeeded to perform the disappearing of the Taj Mahal: for 120 seconds the monument disappeared under the astonished gaze of hundreds of spectators.
In March 2008 I visited P.C. Sorcar JR in Kolkata in order to ask him a consultancy on the possibility of making the Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon disappear.