• Action for The National Pantheon of Portugal, during ARCO Lisbon 2022
  • 80 LED spotlights and timer
  • Curated by André Quiroga

From sunset to midnight during Arco Lisbon, the National Pantheon of Portugal became the transmitter of the universal distress signal in Morse language.

The specific lighting system for this action consists of 80 LED spotlights, placed in all the windows and doors of the building. Controlled by a timer, they flash on and off to transmit the SOS letters according to the Morse alphabet.

The privileged location of the Pantheon, built on a hill, made it possible to execute it in such a way that the artist’s intervention on this space could be seen and received by the whole city of Lisbon.

Eugenio Ampudia’s intervention recognises and enhances the quality of the Pantheon as a physical and moral space that adds meaning to the message represented by an anguished plea for help in a desperate situation.
This agonising call for attention undoubtedly acquires added strength and a huge symbolic charge when it is launched from the place where those who have helped to form the soul of a country are remembered and paid homage to: the National Pantheon of Portugal.

The letters SOS, which, according to the most widespread historical explanation, form the acronym for Save Our Souls, do not admit nuances and what they mean is understood by everyone and instantly as an unappealable signal of last resort. The problem is universal, the message summons us all.