"The vigil of the surrealists bequeathed to us the lucidity that language is a field of disputes in which advantages are always on the side of established power." The writings of Georges Bataille especially strive with the conviction that morality, reason, language and architecture all work as prisons for man, straitjackets that make tangible the power structure of an era, and exclude the risk of contact with any noise or dirt that may tarnish it. architecture, houses - all can be read as language and therefore just know how to read them to find fairly accurate maps of which dominant forces in each context.
In the case of São Paulo, for example, as significant as the heroic idealization of the local past made by the Monument to the Flags built to celebrate the fourth centenary of the city, is that the best known of recent São Paulo monuments is the Motorized Bridge over the marginal Tietê, in the business area of Berrini Avenue. And if we approach the scale of the citizens of this and other great metropolises, how many are not those who consider the streets, the sidewalks, the places of work and sometimes even their own houses - supposed places of identification and comfort - as a sequence of spaces of embarrassment in which the mind seeks to remain oblivious to the continual discomfort of bodies continually oppressed by an aggression that one does not even know how to name?
It is that the contemporary city lost the connection with the human body, while its streets, squares, avenues and bridges were reduced to mere places of passage. As the historian Richard Sennett points out, the attachment of the subject to his surroundings has become non-existent, configuring what he calls "freedom of resistance." It is as if the city were a language that we no longer practice as language, we only perceive as ready speech and, almost always, arid and rough.
As the recent polemics have shown, vindicating the possibility of speaking the city, disputing its appearance as language or introducing noise into its official image is putting itself in tension and risk. From this they know very well those who make demonstrations, those who paint walls, those who climb walls, those who make the city lane, stage or panel. As anticipated, there has long been a famous expression among American musicians that can be translated like this: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture". The analogy implies that writing would be as distant from musical experience as architecture, to make it durable, is from the ephemerality of dance. Of course, body, space, dance and architecture have different levels of relationship, but the saying reminds us of a fundamental indifference, especially on the construction side of contemporary spaces.
The built-in inertia wants to ignore the spatiality that does not come from the state or the owners of the urban lots. It is a little quixotic to invest in such an unequal dispute; but there are those who insist and keep trying to write about music and dance about architecture, rehearsing insurgencies that draw their strength (tactical and poetic) from ephemerality.
From contemporary art, artists such as Jorge Soledar, Lia Chaia and João Castilho catalyze and reinvent ways to make the movement (and stiffening) of bodies emerge in spaces. Between inventive fancy and absurd juxtaposition, performative choreography and disjunctive coping, the works assembled here open up a range of possibilities which recall that the ways bodies "speak" their spaces go beyond categories and niches already formatted for culture, art and freedom of expression in today's cities.
Research and Curatorial Department
Paulo Miyada, Carolina Mologni, Luise Malmaceda, Priscyla Gomes and Theo Monteiro