X IS NOT A SMALL COUNTRY — Unravelling the Post-Global Era

xisnotasmallcountryX IS NOT A SMALL COUNTRY — Unravelling the Post-Global Era, exhibition view, maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon), 2021. Photography by Bruno Lopes.


In X is Not a Small Country — Unravelling the Post-Global Era we are guided by 9 practitioners in art, design and architecture through the convolute and at times confusing state of the global via multiple geographic vantage points and disciplinary perspectives. Newly created projects and special recreations of iconic installations fill the museum with open questions, propositions and provocations. What does “post-global” exactly mean? Come and contribute to the conversation.

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Curators Aric Chen and Martina Muzi speak of the inspirations and findings that this exhibition conceived before the Pandemic reveals. Filmed in Shanghai and Lisbon.

The exhibition design by BUREAU coalesces the nine installations onto a warped, distorted system of lost orientations and collapsing grids. Orientation signs and navigational devices cover the surfaces of the exhibition, extruding at times to create supports for texts and information. 

“Once the power game of North-South or East-West classifications becomes blurred, as a clear result of the current state of geopolitical upheaval in the world, what grid system will be able faithfully to order or re-order the geolocation of physical and virtual presences? Is the Cartesian coordinate system still politically acceptable? Was it ever? Indirectly, the endless nature of the grid also opens up a discussion on borders, frontiers and domination agendas.” — BUREAU


Plan for X IS NOT A SMALL COUNTRY — Unravelling the Post-Global Era at maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon), 2021. © BUREAU.


Visual Language:
Joana Pestana and Max Ryan developed a graphic identity that reflects the challenge of articulating the complexities of the global order. 

The design system samples the world through the proxy of “data”, coordinating a selection of datasets and the movement of satellites orbiting the earth. Utilising different sources that spanned the year prior to the exhibition opening, they attempted to illustrate different phenomena occurring at planetary scales: movement of people, virtual worlds, virtual intimacy, mineral extraction and movement of finance. Hear from the designers where the journey took them to.