Manuela Ribaderneira “Varillas de la esperanza” and Yuri Firmeza “Projeto Ruìnas” at Casa Triângulo, São Paulo
Manuela Ribaderneira “Varillas de la esperanza”
In Varillas de la Esperanza, Manuela Ribaderneira uses a typical element of Latin American urban landscape: the unfinished or abandoned construction columns. In Ecuador, her country of origin, these cement and steel columns that protrude from many rooftops have the witty and poetic name of Varillas de la Esperanza (The Rods of Hope). Often people build the first floor of their houses and add the construction columns for that desired second floor in the hope that one day they will have enough money to built it. The money rarely arrives, and The Rods of Hope remain standing, truncated and hopeful sticking out from the roof slowly becoming posts for a washing line or a volleyball net. They become ruins because they seem to have lost their function and have no meaning in the present “but retain a suggestive and unstable semantic potential”(Julia Hall in Ruins of Modernity).
The artist started to work around this idea as part of her long–standing investigation on the rituals of appropriation of space. To plant rods and columns on the roof is a way of declaring ownership of that piece of sky, it is literally conquering space. The intention of this gesture remains, even when the columns have become ruins.
These abandoned construction columns happen not only in private houses but it is common to find in public buildings stopped mid way. Perhaps in the case of public buildings, the artist points out that they are the rods of political hopelessness. When Claude Lévi-Strauss visited São Paulo in the 30’s he said: “here everything looks like it is under construction but it is already in ruins.” Las Varillas de la Esperanza are constructions in ruins and ruins in construction.
Ribadeneira has made a series of 10 silver nickel stencils (50 x 30 cm), of simplified graphic shapes of the Rods of Hope. As stencils, they suggest an action, the possibility of going out and with these images and marking things as Construction? Ruin? Dream? Truncated Dream? Past? Future?
The second piece is composed by three models of cement and steel construction columns, (22cm high) titled with the ancient Greek orders of architecture: Ionic, Doric and Corinthian. Ribadeneira has reproduced (3D printed) a large number of these types of columns each with a slight variation and has created an architectural model for what she calls a Resting Place for Second Floors.
Lastly she will show Borra y va de Nuevo, (Erase and Restart), and Neither here nor there; strips of mirror that reflect their title on the wall.
until 27 September 2014
Above – Jónica, Dórica y Corintia, 2013 and Borra y va de nuevo, 2013
Manuela Ribadaneira “Varillas de la esperanza” installation views at Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, 2014
Courtesy: Casa Triângulo, São Paulo. Photos: Adam Reich.
Yuri Firmeza “Projeto Ruìnas”
Casa Triângulo is pleased to announce “Ruin Project”, new exhibition of Yuri Firmeza at the gallery.
Ruins Project creates a direct dialogue with the work that Yuri Firmeza will show at the 31th Bienal de São Paulo: How to talk about things that don’t exist.
On Turvações Estratigráficas, Firmeza began this archaeological line of research by taking the urban developments in the Rio de Janeiro port area as a starting point. These events led the artist to interpret critically not only the recent shifts in land policies and gentrification, but also the consequences of these processes in the housing policies of big cities. In his installation, Firmeza appropriated the archaeological remains discovered during the renovation of Rio’s port area as well as the debris of the Favela Morro da Providência, and used them together with old photographs and videos to shed light on the role that culture plays in this contexto.
Thus, his exhibition at MAR – Museu de Arte do Rio, in 2013, revealed the need of direct social participation in the definition of what archaeological heritage is, how to recover it, and how to rework it into public dynamics and activities. As Rafael Borges Deminicis put it, in Turvações Estratigráficas, “Firmeza created a new and socially relevant field of archaeology: the Archaeology of the Favela.”
On Ruins Project, Yuri Firmeza addresses the rise of the metropolis, taking the case of the city of Alcântara, in Northeastern Brazil, as starting point. With the news that the Emperor of Brazil Dom Pedro II would come ashore in Alcântara, a strong rivalry set in among the aristocrats, who began to construct palatial mansions to host the emperor. The dispute was in vain because Dom Pedro II never arrived in those lands. The suspension of the constructions and the passage of time transformed the city into a scene of centenary ruins. The festival of Divino Espírito Santo is held yet today in the region as a celebration of the wealthy moment that Alcântara experienced and, for fifteen days, the population still dresses up like the nobility of the monarchical Brazil.
Paradoxically, it is also in Alcântara that one finds an important Satellite and Rocket Launch Center, which deems the city an important center of scientific studies concerning the future of humanity. In Alcântara, an ancestral past gets along with the most advanced aspirations of a future, and Ruins Project explores this juxtaposition.
Together with architect Artur Cordeiro, Yuri Firmeza developed three architectural scale models of ruins. Thus, he metaphorically inverts the progress of the great urban centers: he creates small-scale mock-ups of mathematically calculated ruins. For the artist, when it comes to dealing with ruins, material equals memory. Present, past, and future participate in another temporal flow that escapes the linearity of historic developments.
Firmeza also presents several architectural drawings of the mock-up models, superimposed photographs of the ruins, stills from a fading 16 mm film of his grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and a video that boasts the qualities of Brazil as the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. All these materials compose a fluctuating network of historical, political, and social temporalities that cross each other and cross us, aiming to produce an encounter between various temporal strata. With the staging of the layers, Yuri Firmeza leaves two questions in the air: What are we producing in terms of ruins – in the name of progress and of idyllic, utopian cities – in the time to come? Has the present become disjointed for the sake of a future?
until 27 September 2014
# Ruin 2, 2014
Yuri Firmeza “Projeto Ruìnas” installation views at Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, 2014
Courtesy: Casa Triângulo, São Paulo. Photos: Everton Ballardin.