International exhibition of public art transforms Rio de Janeiro into museum al fresco, The biennial project OiR, which began this September and ends with the 2016 Olympics, promotes original interventions by renowned artists in picture-
The event is sponsored by HSBC, Oi, the Government of Rio de Janeiro State, and the City Government of Rio de Janeiro, with cultural support from Oi Futuro and the Ministry of Culture.
After accommodating a major conference dedicated to the environment and in the imminence of hosting two athletic events of gargantuan proportions, starting in September Rio de Janeiro will also receive one of the largest exhibitions of public art ever held in the country. Every two years through 2016—in the wake of Rio+20 and simultaneously with the World Cup and then the Olympics—the unprecedented project OiR—Other Ideas for Rio will invite internationally renowned artists to interfere in emblematic locations in the city's urban landscape. Works in this first phase carry the signature of British artists Andy Goldsworthy (Cais do Porto) and Brian Eno (Arcos da Lapa), Spanish artist Jaume Plensa (Enseada de Botafogo), American Robert Morris (Cinelândia), Japanese Ryoji Ikeda (Arpoador), and Brazilian Henrique Oliveira (Parque Madureira). Sponsored by HSBC Bank, Oi, the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, and the Rio de Janeiro City Government, the event also has cultural support from Oi Futuro and the Ministry of Culture (MinC).
"Public art enhances urban space and makes cities more pleasant by bringing the work of art into communion with the landscape, in addition to stimulating the pride of the people who live in them," explains curator Marcello Dantas, who conceived the event in partnership with NAU Art Consulting, a firm belonging to collector and businessman Guilherme de Magalhães Pinto Gonçalves. "And Rio, with its exuberant geography, is the most perfect of scenarios for this kind of event," Dantas adds.
"OiR's innovative open air exhibition will be visible to everyone who lives in Rio or is passing through," says José Augusto da Gama Figueira, President of Oi Futuro. "It has everything to do with democratizing access to culture, one of the major missions of Oi Futuro and focus of our Public Art Program."
The name OiR—"Rio" spelled backwards—refers precisely to the idea of thinking about the city in a different way. The project aims to revive and update the tradition of invoking an outsider's gaze over the Rio de Janeiro landscape, initiated when adventurers and European explorers in the earliest expeditions moored their vessels in the bay to attempt unveiling and translating the mysteries of the new territory. More recently, that tradition was revisited in the essays of illustrious thinkers such as Franco-
According to Dantas, public art also has an important social aspect because "it brings people from different social classes together around a concept that makes them open their eyes to the new and to their own heritage, in addition to creating a unique space, a meeting place and a landmark in the city."
Works in the initial phase of the project are inspired by the theme "The Milieu," which, in the words of the curator, focuses on "the space we occupy, that which unites us."
Exhibition September 7 -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved
Jaume Plensa, Look in to my dreams (Awilda). © Jaume Plensa, Courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York. Photo: Leo Aversa
About the works
Brian Eno – 77 million paintings
Where: Arcos da Lapa, Lapa, Rio de Janeiro
October 19–21, 2012
September 7–November 2, 2012
Jaume Plensa – Awilda
Where: Enseada de Botafogo, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
Andy Goldsworthy – Clay Dome
Where: Galpão da Ação da Cidadania, Cais do Porto, Rio de Janeiro
Robert Morris – Glass Labyrinth
Where: Cinelândia, Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Henrique Oliveira – Shellshelter
Where: Parque Madureira, Madureira, Rio de Janeiro
September 7–9, 2012
Ryoji Ikeda – the radar
Where: Praia do Diabo, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
International 2012 Archives