With the theme “There is always a cup of sea to sail in”, the 29th. Sao Paulo Art Biennial incorporated six terreiros, or areas for events and rest, spread across the Biennial pavilion. Invited by curators Moacir dos Anjos and Agnaldo Farias, this text presents the author's participation in the exhi... More
With the theme “There is always a cup of sea to sail in”, the 29th. Sao Paulo Art Biennial incorporated six terreiros, or areas for events and rest, spread across the Biennial pavilion. Invited by curators Moacir dos Anjos and Agnaldo Farias, this text presents the author's participation in the exhibition with terreiro The Other, The Same; an arena for dance events, theater and music that can be rearranged in other ways.
The Other, the Same Six works differentiate among all the 159 that are part of the 29th Sao Paulo Art Biennial: Idealized by artists and architects for the Biennial, the so called “terreiros” are a curatorial strategy to shelter events, to create conviviality areas and to foment discussions that integrate the exhibition platform.
The Other, the Same is a terreiro named after the homonymous book, which was passed for me by the curators. A modular space made of walls of piled up cardboard and built on mobile “shard-cars”, this arena for fiction and performance was conceived for presentations that have the body as their leitmotiv. In its original configuration, the shard-cars define a space isolated from their environment (the pavilion, an enormous, 25.000 m2 building designed by O. Niemeyer in the 1950s). Even when detached vis-à-vis the building’s modernist space, its cars can always be used to rest, for conversations, for meetings, for plays. In other situations, with the open, expanded shard-cars, the terreiro invades its immediate environment and transforms itself, extrapolating the very area originally designated to it and reaching the building limits. When contracted, the terreiro reveals a labyrinthine space and creates an irregular, unsteady area; tarnishing the contiguity between inside and the outside and disconnecting the shard-cars from their original function (to shape an arena).
In spite of the title, the project’s process occurred to me in a more or less intuitive way and without a clear literary reference. Before, I re-readed “The Other” (in The Sand book) and “Borges and I” (in The maker), by Jorge Luis Borges, but doing any connection between these texts and the terreiro would be something forced. They talk about the relation between a Borges-author and a Borges-reader (Borges and I), and between a young Borges and an old Borges (The Other).
Therefore, the project’s starting point is an arena that in a certain way conditions the event, but that can also be broken and re-pictured at the directors', the choreographers’, and even the visitors’ discretion. When it defines an arena in plan, the cars seem primeval and anthropomorphic, in spite of this illustration being in the abstraction of a drawing and not in the real, “phenomelogical” space. And when shuffled in ways I do not know which ones they will be, the irrational arrangements remit to the embodied Other; to a figurative, anthropomorphic form (the plan) that was undone and redone as in a mixed and reversible architecture.