The following text is courtesy Carlos Teixeira for his installation, "The Other, the Same," part of the 29th Sao Paulo Internatinal Art Biennial. Photos are courtesy Nelson Kon, Camila Piccolo, and Carlos Teixeira.
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, theatre 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: Idealised 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 (Jorge Luis Borges) 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).
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 the 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, “phenomenological” space. And when shuffled, 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.