Mixed media installation
Solo exhibition – Tales with no Kings, Casa França Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013
In the exhibition Tales with no Kings (Contos sem Reis), the artist presented a series of works exploring the construction of a Brazilian national identity, revolving around the history of Casa França Brasil and using the building as a symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Designed by Grandjean de Montigny, architect of the French Mission to Brazil, this building is the most important example of neoclassical architecture in the city. In 1820, it served as the first Commerce Square, which was inaugurated by the king Dom João VI. Four years later, when Brazil had recently had gained its independence, emperor Dom Pedro I turned the building into the Custom House. It was later used for many different purposes until it was restored during the 1980s and converted into its current function as a cultural center in 1990. Tales with no Kings not only established a dialogue between contemporary art and neoclassical architecture, it also critically reflected upon the building and its surroundings: the city centre of Rio de Janeiro – at a time of major urban transformations.
The main hall presented the work entitled Blind spot, a wooden structure spelling the word REVOLVER (trans. REVOLVE, in the sense of investigating, examining). Built out of thin wooden rods, the piece measures 12 meters wide by four meters high. The word’s legibility, however, depends on the observer’s point of view. The visibility of the word and the illusion of its deconstruction suggest a rupture in history through the word’s alternating presence and absence.
Blind spot also consists of a sound piece played from loudspeakers sited in the perimeter of the main hall. In this recording we hear a text written by the artist that deals with the passage of time and the relationship between the history and architecture of the city. Click here to hear the text.
Lastly, a convex mirror sculpture at the former entrance of the building completes the installation.