Before traveling to São Paulo in 2014, someone told me that I would have the opportunity to know the best and the worst of Brazil. There was a lot of expectation for the World Cup in the so called “country of football” but there were large protests in June 2013 because of the overspending and unjustified expenditures on stadiums and the expulsion of local residents. When the police responded with violence, the protests grew exponentially. At the end of the year in which I arrived, presidential elections occurred with a complex political landscape because of the evident social malaise that had manifested itself in the prior year. Part of this malaise was related to the urban problems of the large cities and the contrast between boastful discourse of “Big Brazil” and the everyday experience of the people in the crowded buses, subways and in the daily budget.
By coincidence, I ended up living in downtown São Paulo, one of the areas of the city where these contrasts were more evident in the coexistence of preparations for the World Cup and the urban building occupations. In addition, it is a space where architectural narratives about the past and the future of the city converge, where the modern skyscrapers meet the ” invented colonial style” of its historic buildings.
I wandered around downtown with no particular direction and I became more interested in the building occupations. Especially because there was something that overflowed its visuality in brands and flags by various social movements. The photographic work and the experience in the occupations raised a question about public space: the buildings that are occupied in the old center had been abandoned for at least five years, and, most of them, were old hotels. Despite the laws that allow the government to penalize the owners of abandoned buildings, the Brazilian public authorities ignore them to the benefit of urban real estate speculation.
Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Santiago de Chile (August-October 2016)
as part of the project Imagen Intermedia
Exposicão do trabalho no Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
Santiago de Chile (agosto-outubro 2016)
como parte do projeto Imagen Intermedia