Treaty on the Invention of Things 

  • Performance
  • transdisciplinar


Jul 25 2022 - Aug 03 2022


All Day

The event is finished.


Treaty on the Invention of Things 

This body wouldn't exist if it weren't for these wounds I invented. This body tattooed with my affections and affectations, real and fictional. I thought, while I was being tattooed, that this inscription on my body was a way of understanding myself and my life, but simultaneously an (invented) reading of the world.  

Treaty on the Invention of Things is a performance where I explore this body, this invention of a life, while I build a scenario, a living encyclopedia of my understanding of things.  


Treaty on the Invention of Things 

In October 2018 I knew of my mother's impending death. In October 2018 I got my first 3 tattoos, of the 19 I have today. At that dark moment in my life I started this performance project which comprised the invention, on my skin, of things swell (objects, animals, stories, lessons, ideas, subjects, etc.), things swell that will compose in me and for me, a narrative.  

Prompted by the notion that many of our conceptions of the world and of ourselves are fabrications, inventions, inculcated in us by others, by our context, by our experiences, I began to build this Treaty of the Invention of Things.  

Influenced by the concept of encyclopedia of Umberto Eco, as a multidimensional space of semiosis, these things swell that I tattoo are part of my personal production of meanings, in relation to universal referents. The invention of a violin, as a tattoo (that is the first invention), is simultaneously the invention of the violin my grandfather played, the invention of the violin in itself, as thing, and the wider invention of music and silence.  

In the Treaty on the Invention of ThingsI am interested in the act of inventing, inventing my body by perceiving in it what the History of Tattooing is, my autobiography and the nature of things swell, assuming that everything had a nature prior to our (personal and global) invention of them.  

Since October 2018 I have been tattooing my body and documenting that act. I have been travelling to Barcelos to get tattooed, in a very strict collaboration with a tattooist. 

I imagine the performance Treaty on the Invention of Things as the creation, on stage, of a scenario. I imagine this scenery composed of 3 screens, where videos of different nature are projected - of the body; documentaries; of the scene, live - while, on stage, I put on stage (in a literal mise-en-scéne) the various tattooed objects, as if the tattoos were materialised. It is the  

invention of a space in which the things swell take physical form. I imagine this space as one of Joseph Cornell's boxes, like a cabinet of curiosities, where these things swellwhere narratives accumulate about them, their entanglements, their roots, reasons and passions.  

Since October of 2018, when I started this Tratado da Invenção das  Coisas, (still without this name) my mother was still alive, and this invention of mine also had this purpose of making me more me, so that my mother would die knowing that I would be alright.  

I wanted to invent myself. Invent myself as I imagined myself. Invent myself by accumulating in me and around me the objects (in their broadest ontological sense) of my affection. Invent myself, fictionalising myself in my skin.  The time that has passed since then has allowed me to understand and I am still understanding the promise of possibilities that is to invent a life (Bio). That is the promisse I want to share with the Treaty on the Invention of Things. 



Daniel Moutinho was born in Lisbon in 1989.  

Daniel graduated in Theatre at the University of Évora (2007-2010). Postgraduate degree in Writing Arts at FCSH (2011-2013). Master in Multimedia Art, specialization in Audiovisuals at FBAUL (2014-2018). He attended workshops with Manuel Vason, Hancock & Kelly; Cia. Phillipe Genty and Guillermo Gomez Peña.  

Creator of the performances Absolutely False, presented at FIKE in 2009; Crav, presented at the Festival Escrita na Paisagem in 2011; Outra  Lição de Anatomia, presented at the International Exhibition Tadeusz Kantor, in Évora, at the exhibition Machine Tadeusz Kantor at SESC Consolação in 

São Paulo, and at the Settimana Kantoriana, in Salerno, in 2015; and A Fila Para o  Pão, presented in Évora, in 2020.  

He was the co-creator and actor in the play Filhos do Retornoof Teatro do Vestido (2017-2018).  

Playwright of É quando choro que tenho a certeza que estou a morrer apresentado na Malveira em 2010 e O meu não lugar presented in Maputo, in 2019.  

He was assistant dramaturg and translator for Kaite OʼReilly and Philipp Zarrilli at the 2010 Escrita na Paisagem Festival.  

He was assistant director of the play Ocupação at the Teatro do Vestido and documentarist at Arquivo-Vivo of the company, in 2019.  

Curator of the platform From My Windowwith Nuno Veiga, in 2020. Facilitator at the workshop Auto-Retrato de um Reflexo Nebuloso: entre a escrita  autobiográfica e a imagem do corpo confinado, with Samara Azevedo, at the 9th Festival de Artes Cénicas de Bauru, in Brazil, in 2020. 


Daniel Moutinho