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in: PEDROSA, Adriano, KIM, Clara and ZELEVANSKY, Lynn. Renata Lucas.

Redcat publishers, Los


Angeles, 2007.
Adriano Pedrosa, Renata Lucas, Redcat Publishers
All rights reserved.
Renata Lucas
Interview by Adriano Pedrosa

Adriano Pedrosa: First, let me ask about your background and your coming to So
Paulo.

Renata Lucas: I graduated in fine arts from Unicamp (Universidade Estadual de


Campinas). It was quite an irregular program, and the last two years were the best, with
drawing and sculpture workshops. Sculpture gave me a few theoretical and practical
tools, and that was my introduction to the broader field. Marco do Valle, who taught this
class, is an artist and an architect and a great teacher. There were a half dozen of us
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students, reading Ferreira Gullars theory of the non-object. We would cram ourselves
into an old car and go make experiential works in the woods, at waterfalls, on the
beachtaking pictures and making videosand then we would bring it all to the
classroom. At that time, we studied a certain tradition of Brazilian art that is associated
with a very special interpretive ability we have around here, which Oswald de Andrade

called cultural anthropophagy, which is neither Constructivism nor Minimalism but an

The non-object theory created by the poet Ferreira Gullar is based on the

phenomenological approach of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who


wrote that before the spectator, the non-object presents itself as inconclusive. The
Theory of the Non-Object was first published in the Sunday supplement of the Jornal do
Brasil as a contribution to the Second Neo-Concrete Exhibition at the Palcio da Cultura
in Rio de Janeiro, November 21December 20, 1960.
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Oswald de Andrade was a poet, novelist, and playwright who launched the

Anthropophagous Manifesto in the Anthropophagy Review, in May 1928.

assimilation of different ideologies into something else, something that at some point
assimilates the subject as a work. That is the moment that interests me the most in our
art history: Neo-Concretism. I had already studied architecture with Marco, and in that
course we had an introduction to modernism in Brazilian architecture. We rebuilt a
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series of Warchavchik houses, we visited Flavio de Carvalhos house at Valinhos, and


Lina Bo Bardis glass house in So Paulo.

AP: Is that when you became interested in architecture, something you would later
develop in your work?

RL: My interest in architecture came about more generically: I was in contact with a new
instrument, and that was exciting, but it did not go far. I am actually quite the laywoman
in architecture. But at that time, I already was trying to revolve spaces, something I
managed to do in my drawings and in some sculptures. I had a hard time with scale,
which made my sculptures look like models or drafts of larger works. I later
photographed them in detail, suggesting a change in scale. I didnt have this problem
with my drawings because paper has its own virtuality: it is a cutout of a broader visual
field, so it has no scale. An object on a table, however, suggests a scale. I did not want to
suggest that relationshipI wanted the exterior upon the exterior, I wanted the thing to
be the bottom, the rims, the boundary, or the architecture, if you will. But I must say
that perception came much later. I cannot describe it as an interconnected process;

Gregori Warchavchik, a Russian-born architect, settled in Brazil in 1923 and is

known as one of the pioneers of Brazilian modern architecture.


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A figurehead of Brazilian modernism, Flavio de Carvalho was an architect, artist,

set designer, playwright, columnist, and essayist.


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Lina Bo Bardi, an Italian architect who settled in Brazil in 1946, is responsible

for a series of projects in the field of architecture, namely the MASPthe Museu de Arte,
So Pauloand the SESC Fbrica da Pompia.

rather, what it felt like was that clouds were hanging over me for a long time and then it
came all at once.

Moreover, architecture is the limit every work of art hits when it is installedit always
sets the artwork in relationship with the venue and with what is beyond it, beyond its
frame. It is about a containment field, a field bounded by quotation marks. And the
challenge is to determine how far you can throw those quotation marks, so far that they
go out of sight. Still, the most important thing at that moment was being able to sense
how my thinking about art making was being defined even before I had a work that could
take it in. That is when I began to understand that the world works through the masses:
on the one hand there is an individual wish, and on the other hand there is the collective
will of the Flamengo [soccer team] fans. One thing that interests me, though it is not yet
very clear, is the equivalence between architecture and landscape. That is why I would
say that my work is not specifically about architecture but about a broader context,
which is place.

AP: What do you mean by that?

RL: Architecture is the body of a placeit directs the use, the possible pathways, the
flows through which information, light, air, and communication will pass; it metabolizes
what happens inside.

AP: Architecture is authoritarian.

RL: And it is a slow-changing body, because it is created to lastit is a part of the


inanimate world, like landscape and stone. In my works, I try to establish the
background as a figure, to turn it into a protagonist. I split the world into two sets:

nature and fiction. Nature is the given thing: the landscape, the architectural, urban
setting of the place at hand; this is where I will intervene. Fiction is my intervention,
something I see as an artificiality within the unfolding time-space set. My action is being
forged within that nature, something that will connect it with other times and spaces, as
it produces a disruption along that unfolding.

AP: Back to your education: Which artists impressed you at that time?

RL: In my sophomore year, I saw Joseph Beuys at the MASP. That was a watershed for
me. I didnt really know what to think, but I liked it a lot. At that time, I understood the
difference between working with an idealized representation of space and working directly
upon the world. The Bienal de So Paulo also was a strong presence in my life, as it is in
every Brazilian artists life, because it provided a unique opportunity to see works from
all over the world, whereas our education here is mostly book-based, given the scarcity of
museums. That is how I saw Bruce Nauman, Robert Smithson, and Eva Hesse, for
exampleseeing that work filled me with great emotion.

AP: Besides Beuys, what other artists impressed you or influenced your work?

RL: When I worked at the Centro Cultural So Paulo from 1994 to 2004, I had personal,
very important contacts with many Brazilian artists, including Iran do Espirito Santo,
Carlos Fajardo, Rodrigo Andrade, Carmela Gross, Nuno Ramos, Jos Damasceno, and
others. Tunga also had a strong impact on me, with his hair-conjoined twins and
installations such as o. Indeed, Brazilian art is very rich, and I could mention so many
other artists. But the influences can be seen in a broader way, not just in terms of
apparent resemblance, something I manage to avoid sometimes. Ive been looking a lot at
Gabriel Orozco, for instance. The oranges he placed in apartment windows across from

the Museum of Modern Art in New York, that is a work that relates the macro and the
micro very well, and also the different social and spatial dynamics. They were visible from
the museum, and in that way he brought all these neighborhood windows inside the
museum. Another very important artist to me is Cildo Meireles. I deeply admire the way
he works with scale and value reversals and his incursions beyond art. His Cantos
(Corners) are very special to me. I also like the works he made under the Brazilian
dictatorship, such as O Sermo da Montanha: Fiat Lux (The sermon on the mount: Let
there be light) (1973/79), with the eye matchboxes and the security agents with their
sunglasses. Today I am especially interested in Dan Grahams reversals, his Video
Projection Outside Home (1978), with the middle-class family TV set outside.

AP: What about Smithson and Gordon Matta-Clark?

RL: Though I feel very close to both of themMatta-Clark for his direct, space-opening
action on architecture, Smithson for his scientific intricacy and his space/time
implication that confuses the natural and the artificialI really want to make
interventions in operating spaces, to drill a hole in a wall that divides a lived-in space, to
allow the flow between two architectures. When I cut a wall and joined two architectures,
my curiosity was about a meeting of climates, of temperatures, of juxtaposed and
mingled interiors and differences. It is a way of showing different bodies occupying the
same place in space: a physical postulate that has always puzzled me. I am very
interested in simultaneity. Besides that, opening a hole through a wall is like creating a
legal precedent, like changing a preset path. I would never look for an uninhabited place,
even if it were the only one that could bear the scale of my intervention, because that
would eliminate an important component of my work: the people. I am drawn to a
particular Matta-Clark piece, however: his Fake Estates (1973). To find and gather
excluded pieces of landscape in the world, or ownerless land parcels, tiny little intervals

within the operating system, right under everyones nose, between fences, between
houses, on the sidewalk, to buy them and maybe become a landowner with small deeds
to nowherethat is the artists place. That for me is the greatest beauty in the world.

AP: You said the Centro Cultural So Paulo played an important part in your education.
How so?

RL: It is where I completed my education. I first did research and then worked in the
exhibition programming area. It is an interesting building, and I got used to the ample
environment, its free circulation as opposed to the morose bureaucracy of an institution
under the authority of city hall. That environment was a system that corresponded
perfectly to a greater system, a sort of Brazilian face that yielded reflections on what an
artwork is, what an exhibition is, how the artist comes and goes, what remains and
reverberates in space, what kind of hole an artwork creates, and how the surroundings
recover later. Meanwhile, I went on with my college studies; I received my masters from
Unicamp and am currently enrolled in the doctoral program of the Universidade de So
Paulos communication and arts school. Though doing all this at the same time makes
my life a little chaotic, studying and writing keep me constantly reorganized. It helps me
formulate things, and whatever my academic involvement may suggest, I dont have the
slightest intention of constructing a watertight theoretical concept.

AP: You opened the 10,20 x 3,60 gallery in So Paulo with a group of young artists,
where you had your first solo exhibition in 2001. How was that experience?

RL: Yes, it was my work Barravento, whose meaning was linked to the gallerys
proposition. It was a venue run by artists, away from the commercial circuit. So we set
up that gallery on a somewhat cooperative model. It was a very passionate project, a

ventilating place, open to the world, that inspired me a lot. I thought from the beginning
that the gallerys elongated setting had to be treated as a single piece, in a dynamic
horizontal line from one end to the other, physically and conceptually softening the
space. Barravento consisted of the reproduction of the gallery walls in articulated wood
panels with hinges at the angles. The work was made with planks that covered not the
outside but the inside of the building, covering its whole length, inch by inch, with exact
measurements. My idea was to make an inside-outside reversal, and the hinges made it
possible to turn the gallery inside out. The title was a sort of homage to the filmmaker
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Glauber Rocha, but it also referred to the name of an Umbanda chant. Barravento is the
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toque attributed to Oxossi, the hunting orix; it is a dynamic toque: I sent a shot and I
want to see a buzzing, I sent a shot and I want to see a fall. So it was all there: the shot
and the fall, the cause and the effect.

AP: When, how, and why did you feel or define yourself as an artist for the first time?

RL: My self-definition as an artist goes back to my childhood. It might be interesting to


mention my childhood experience, which was full of open doors, walking barefoot on the
ground, with no rigid hierarchies. There was, of course, a certain authority at home and
at school, but that was not enough to restrain my experience of the open ways that lay
between them. I was born and raised in Ribeiro Preto, one of the largest cities in the So
Paulo state, but I lived in a distant neighborhood and lived a small-town life. We could
see the horizon from every corner of my house. The days were hot, and there were
frequent windstorms in the afternoon, which brought extreme sensations. They pegged
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Barravento (1962) was Glauber Rochas first feature film. Rocha was an icon of

Brazilian Cinema Novo and also authored Deus e o diabo na terra do sol (God and the
devil in the land of the sun) (1964) and Terra em transe (The earth in trance) (1967).
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Toque is the sound of the drums in a kind of prayer chanted in Afro-Brazilian

religions, accompanied by clapping.

me as an artist early on at home, and that gave me a certain autonomy. My parents


were very liberal educators, and I chose to be taught the alphabet only when I was seven.
Not to read and write was a sort of savage glory I held onto for as long as I could. But the
most important thing was that I was allowed to make my own choices from very early on.
Ever since I was a kid, I drew and built models and dolls, I worked with anything I could
get my hands on, sometimes well into the night. I ended up studying art because I knew
it could not happen otherwise.

AP: Mau gnio (Evil genius/Bad character), the work you made for our 2002 exhibition at
the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, seems to connect your interest in architecture and
drawing through a site-specific work, in a dialogue with both Oscar Niemeyers former
casino building in Belo Horizonte and the landscape of Pampulha Lake that surrounds it.

RL: It is a work that remade the geometrical lines of the framing of the glass walls in this
space and multiplied them through scaffolding, raising the floor 1.2 meters (3 feet 10 7/8
inches) above the original floor, in effect building a mezzanine on top of the museums
mezzaninewhere the exhibition took placeand spreading itself between the interior
columns as if reproducing the liquidity of the lakes surface down below, which is visible
from inside the building. In fact, because the work took place on the upper level,
museum visitors saw the piece little by littlethey viewed it gradually as they went up
the ramp toward the mezzanine. From a particular viewpoint on the ramp, what you saw
was a perfectly flat image, as if it were a drawing. It was a work wholly structured by
vertical and horizontal lines, like a Mondrian grid.

AP: Or a Sol LeWitt.

RL: That too. The two-dimensional image dissolved as you got closer to it, when the work
revealed its corporeity. Visitors could climb onto that huge body of wood supported by
grids and walk through the corridors created by the upper scaffolds, which were raised
above the floor, to window level, overlooking the lake.

AP: From afar, the light there transforms the work into an outline, which emphasizes its
drawing quality. On the other hand, I think that work has a very interesting panoramic
quality, as if it were a living tableau of an abstraction, a grid. Though it is threedimensional, it does not allow the spectator the experience of classical sculpturethe
walking around, circling the work and seeing it from every side. All that articulated the
landscape. But I remember that you were troubled by a particular comment Rodrigo
Moura and I wrote about your 2002 work Comum de dois (Common to the two) at the
Centro Universitrio Maria Antnia in So Paulo: The result is an intersection of walls
and spaces, suggesting cuts and crossings, in an irrational configuration not totally
deprived of psychological charge. I would like to talk about why that troubled you.

RL: At that time, I was rejecting those psychological approaches for a few reasons. I was
very interested in horizontality, in an architecture or landscape defined by the moving
body, without any depth or distance. I had just made Barravento, a work meant to have
no inside or outsidea flat, moving, pliable, and unstable body. It was parallel to the
world and obeyed no inside-outside rules. I needed to eliminate that kind of limitation
because I was trying to tear off a psychological bias and vehemently rejected the idea of
creating another one. Mau gnio was a continuous modular work that ended at the limit
of the wall, that is, it had no end: it was a liquid medium that assumed continuity as it
added more and more horizontal areas. The idea, then, was to gain more and more of the
outside, adding boundaries, extending the containing limits. I always think of Set Theory,
those mathematical operations in which content and container are reversed.

At that time, I was avoiding psychology because I refused any sort of intimate dimension
in my work. I was fed up with the excess of self-indulgent, confessional artworks I had
seen at the Centro Cultural So Paulo in the preceding years. Because I worked in a
program where young artists were shown alongside invited established artists, I
sometimes saw the exhausting repetition of a trend up to its depletion. In that sense, I
took a more distant approach, trying to deal with more neutral and public elements,
which would draw a common life for all but without needless intimacy. I am not as
bothered by the intimate today, and I am really interested in a subjective architecture.
That is the case of Comum de dois, a quite gestaltic work. It denounces an evidently
psychological confusion of limits, but that was a feeling borne by the place: the Centro
Universitrio Maria Antnia is an old and labyrinthine buildingsolid and dense,
somewhat bureaucratic, renovated many times to perform multiple functions, which
resulted in subdivided rooms and halls leading toward nowhere. I was inspired by its
density, which repeats and extends throughout the walls.

AP: It is interesting that you talk about your works as bodies and at the same time you
think about architecture and mathematical operations. The connection between body and
geometry is after all one of the foundations of Neo-Concretism.

RL: Mathematics is a wonderful representational system, created to contain (and


conjugate) our abstractions. And geometry is an indispensable instrument for
investigating a body that cannot contain itself. Im interested in the strange
disproportion between what we agree to call mind and body, or spirit and body, which is
the inside-outside duality, in the strange disproportion between imagination and reality,
and in the sets we form or the spaces we open within our thought as opposed to the
objects placed in the material world. You cannot measure your own body within its

physical limits; the mind goes beyond those discrete architectural dimensions. Im
dealing with a misunderstanding about, or the nonconformity of, the distance
relationships and measurements that organize things in space and delimit where one
thing ends and another begins. But mine is a fast, instinctive mathematics, like the
housewife adding up prices at the supermarket. I dont measure anything, but I make
visual comparisons: the height of the fence is the height of the neighbors fence, the width
of the sidewalk is defined by the budget, the work ends where the wall ends.

AP: Much of your effort in your working process addresses institutions and other public
areas, as in the case of Cruzamento (Crossing), both the 2003 Rio de Janeiro version and
the 2004 version made for the exhibition Fragmentos e souvenirs paulistanos (Fragments
and mementos from So Paulo), as well as Atlas, shown at the Galeria Millan Antonio in
2006, and even your work for the Bienal de So Paulo that same year.

RL: Generally, my work does not begin or end with the exhibition setup. Instead, it
requires agreements with institutions and the public sector on several levels, each with
its own processes and details. It all depends on the will and commitment of the first
interlocutor of my work: the curator. But there are always intense conversations with
architects, forest engineers, traffic engineers, city halls, all the sectors that make things
work. For example, for Cruzamento, I used wood to cover the intersection of Rua Dois de
Dezembro and Praia do Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro. I later remade it for the show you
curated at the Galeria Luisa Strina in So Paulo. Plywood panels covered the street from
edge to edge of the intersection like a new wooden pavement. I defined that street corner
as a crossing point for forces coming from different directions, which then meet on a
single plane, on the street: a passing place, a four-way free flow, a place where no
building will ever rise. The street is the place for dispatches and decisions, the privileged

point of the dispossessed, the drunkards and the prostitutes, especially on Praia do
Flamengo. There is even a Portuguese phrase, to be at a crossroads.

AP: The expression exists in English as well.

RL: The crossroads is the place where people who practice African religions put offerings
for their saintsthings like plates with rice and beans, peppers, candles, flowers, and
anything else that the ritual requires. They believe there is a kind of spirit that lives in
and protects intersections and frontiers, and these spirits need to be appeased with such
offerings. We live in a very Afro-religious country and have become used to living with
umbanda and candombl culture, brought by slaves from Africa during colonial times.
These are the most popular religions here, besides Catholicism. In fact, lately we have
suffered from an invasion of evangelical religions from the United States, but this is a
new chapter in our history that will affect future generations, not mine.

So it was natural, for a work dealing with the demarcation of a place where public forces
would make a stand, that I would need analyses, authorizations, and the help of a series
of individuals with different functions and purviews. Sometimes, there are very
interesting people in the bureaucracy who are willing to help. Take my work for the 2006
Bienal, for example. I got incredible feedback from an Eletropaulo [the So Paulo power
company] manager, who said he would be happy to put up posts even where they were
not needed for any functional reason.

AP: And how was your experience in the 2006 Bienal de So Paulo?

RL: It took me a long time to define a project because I thought of simultaneous


interventions both in the city of So Paulo and in the Bienal building itself. In the end,

the 1950s Oscar Niemeyer building didnt fit with my proposals. Many of my ideas
clashed with the protected status of the building and the Parque do Ibirapuera where the
building is situated. I finally decided to make Matemtica rpida (Quick mathematics) in
the Barra Funda neighborhood where I live. In spite of all the red tape required to work in
a public area, it took us only eighteen days to get the permit, something I hadnt been
able to achieve even over several months from the park or the building authorities. That
work superimposed two discrepant images that occupied the same place in space. It was
the result of an exercise in fast sums and subtractions, something I had been working
with since the beginning of my Bienal projects. The result was a sidewalk superimposed
on top of another, slightly displaced diagonally and extending along a full block. It was a
passage with new pavements, flowerbeds, trees, and lampposts whose lamps were
slightly off-color, more yellow than the original ones. The effect was of one sidewalk
walking over another. The somewhat ill-fitting recurrence of this sidewalk, with all its
defining urban attributes, over an already existing one created duplicate pointsfor
example, posts met other posts that were already thereand superimposed points, such
as one flowerbed on top of another, and even brand new occurrences of posts and
flowerbeds where none had existed before. The resulting landscape along this 150-meter
(492-foot) stretch of Rua Brigadeiro Galvo was sometimes an accumulation of things,
such as a thicket of posts, and sometimes a desolate area with a tiny, lonely tree in the
middle of the sidewalk.

My second work for the Bienal was Barulho de fundo (Background noise),8 originally
conceived in 2005 for the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in So Paulo. It is a video installation
with five black-and-white monitors that seems to be showing security-camera footage
taken throughout the building, in which one can see wild animals roaming around. For
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Barulho de fundo was produced in collaboration with the video artists Daniel

Steegmann and Dions Escorsa.

the Bienal I used images of the empty Niemeyer building and then added the presence of
those strange dwellers. The work presented itself in a sort of temporal gap between
operating and nonoperating spaces, between functionality and obsolescence, within the
Bienal itself, an ambiguity that was reinforced by the placement of the work in a small
room between the service and the exhibition areas. Though it showed a kind of X-ray of
the venue and revealed images of all the public and private areaseven the most hidden
and inaccessible ones, such as the archives and private collectionsthe work stood in a
peripheral situation, at a very tenuous limit between presence and absence.

AP: Can you describe your process in the case of Atlas?

RL: Atlas (2006) explored the limits of spatial vulnerabilitymixing private contents,
making them public, redistributing property. There is an implicit convention for the
boundaries between public and private, inside and outside, privacy and social/neighborly
relations. It defines the way we live and is beyond our determination, our reaction, and
our adaptation. With Atlas, I planned a geographic and territorial reorganization of the
Galeria Millan Antonio and its surroundings, making it lose its characteristics, sweeping
it off the map, so to speak, by dividing its internal spaces among its closest neighbors
giving part of it to the neighbor on the left and thereby making her house advance to
occupy the gallerys front and back areas. And the neighbors wall and fences were
extended toward the gallery, passing through the entire corridor to reach the end of the
lot, claiming the new parcel she had been given. The exhibition hall on the right side of
the gallery was turned into an extension of the auto body shop across the street and
served as a parking lot. The gallery also gained a facade resembling that of the shop,
setting up a mirroring equivalence between neighbors.

AP: Like chameleonic architecture.

RL: Exactly. For this specific work, I had to make agreements with both the gallery
owners and the neighbors who participated in the intervention by ceding their space for
the renovation, which involved tearing down walls and opening new communications
between the spaces. In the end, the gallery was turned completely inside out and all its
internal areas became external ones, with just one office remaining for the owners and
the employees. As for the title, it relates to the disruption of boundaries, to new
geographic and territorial orders, to new meanings of organization. That is why it refers
to the god Atlas, who relates to disorder and the indomitable forces of natural
organization and who, following the initial cataclysms of the earth, was sentenced to
support the world upon his shoulders forever.

AP: Gentileza (Kindness), made at the gallery A Gentil Carioca in Rio de Janeiro in 2005,
is another work that activates this disruption of boundaries.

RL: Gentileza predated Atlas and dealt with neighborhood questions on a more domestic,
less geographical scale. It was based on an agreement between next-door neighbors
occupying two row houses in downtown Rio de Janeiro: the gallery A Gentil Carioca and
a music-recording studio. The houses are located in a region called Saara, where Arab,
Lebanese, and Armenian shopkeepers live in a labyrinth of crowded, small streets and
where formal and informal means of trade coexist. Neighborhood relations there are
expanded by a promiscuity of space that makes it hard to see the exact separation
between one shop and another. In that context, what I did was to open the walls between
the gallery and its neighbor. The gallerys open, sunlit, white atmosphere contrasted
with the studios darkness and introspection, generated by the acoustic insulation of its
walls and floors, which were lined with various materials. With the intervention, one
space invaded the other. The title refers to the gallerys name and also to a very Brazilian

kind of negotiation, the exchange of kindnesses, something that may suggest both the
cordiality between neighbors in a give-and-take reciprocity and the depreciating
connotation of the ambiguity and dissimulation of political life.

AP: You seem to be finding the same complications in Los Angeles now.

RL: Not exactly the same, for complications show up where you least expect them.
Though most museums refuse architectural interventions and doing work in public
venues requires unlikely permits or entails unauthorized costs, some works may end up
interrupted even without any of those impediments. What happened in Los Angeles was
that my first proposal entailed the creation of a system closely related to a peculiar
characteristic of the building where REDCAT is housed. Because of its irregular facade,
which is covered with undulating and angular titanium plates, Frank Gehrys building
ends up concentrating and reflecting the sunlight all around it, which in turn pounds on
the neighboring buildings, generating intense heat, which, according to reports Ive
heard, burns carpets, melts traffic cones, etc. I was interested in this savage
characteristic of the building as a metaphor of several issues beyond it. Los Angeles is a
city in the middle of the desert, where water and energy have to be dug out everywhere. I
wanted to plan a whole system around the architecture of REDCAT, trying to create a
reflective dialogue between the architecture, as if one building were speaking and the
others were answering, through the placing of strategically located mirrors that would
reflect the light. That light would converge toward the solar cells on the REDCAT
marquee, which would translate the thermal energy into photovoltaic energy, which in
turn would feed a potent array of spotlights inside the gallery. With metaphors of
containment and dispersion, the scheme would set off a sort of antientropy, an attempt
to translate one language into another, one excess into another, to bring light back to its

emitter, concentrating it on the art field, on the representation field within the small
gallery.

AP: But will this work be produced after all?

RL: No, this project was ultimately rejected. According to the curators, the United States
has very strict codes regarding the occupation of public spaces, including exhibition
venues, that wouldnt permit this kind of work.9 After a few other attempts, I accepted
the proposal of remaking Falha (Failure), a previous work, from 2003, which seems to
make sense in this new context. Falha is a monument unable to stand up: a sort of
articulated, portable, pliable floor that you can open and stretch on any surface. It is as
flexible, adaptable, and unstable as the ground we are used to walking on. It is every
Brazilian artists experience to have to remake, with every work, the ground they will
walk on. I have always related that to a certain institutional weakness that gives us no
stable conditions for our production and reception in Brazil, and every time, we have to
remake the very environment necessary for the work to exist because it seems to unravel
at every turn. In the end, this became a broader issue, and it is curious that my first
exhibition on American soil made me carry my own walking ground.

9
Owing to fire, safety, and earthquake code restrictions, this project could not be executed.
(Curators note.)