Three channel video, 2019
Vila Autódromo is a community on the periphery of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, that partially survived violent and protracted evictions undertaken by the city administration to clear land surrounding the 2016 Olympic site in Rio. The community was established in the 1960s, originally starting as a small village of labourers in the fishing and construction industries self-building a small village between nature reserves and the lagoon. The neighbourhood, coveted by real estate developers since the city has grown to envelop the region, was subjected to particularly brutal military police action during the development of the Olympic site. Cristina Ribas and Lucas S. Icó have been working with the community since their eviction, collecting a glossary of the struggle, and through this glossary aiding in the birth of the Museu das Remoções – The Museum of Evictions, a grass roots organisation linking, supporting, and memorialising evicted communities in Rio.In 2018 the Museu das Remoções; artists Cristina Ribas, Lucas S. Icó, myself, and members of the Vila community organised a number of workshops utilising techniques from Boals Theatre of the Oppressed to broaden this glossary, and to re-enact and memorialise the theatrical practices of Vila Autódromo at its height. Engaging with collective acts of memory, play and improvisation based creative practice, and centered around Ribas and S.Icó’s ongoing collaboration with the community, these workshops for the basis of a three channel video work, operating in the realm of theatrical re-tellings capacity for re-inscribing and re-orientating communal experience. Alongside a video based on these theatrical workshops are two videos, one accompanying Denise Costa dos Santos, who lived in the community since childhood, on her daily walk up the local Camorim mountain, where she collects recyclable materials, as she discusses moments from her memory, her perceptions and reactions to the environment, and her practice of walking as self care, and a third video walking a circular route around the former site of the community, which is now reverting to partially tended forest. Working from experiences specific to this struggle we aimed that this work may be a contribution to the resistance as aesthetic process, situating us in a place of passage, of movement. Giving up the fixed role of specialist, narrator, or owner of practice that can be transposed from place to place, and opening, instead, possibilities of generating effects from mutual motion in a context, processes of listening and walking alongside.Commissioned by Adeline Lépine, for the exhibition (Con)Vivências, at le Crac 19, Montbéliard, France. Alongside works by Brasilian artists Jonathas de Andrade, Ricardo Basbaum, Lygia Clark, Opavivará?!?, and Amilcar Packer. Produced in collaboration with Cristina Ribas and Lucas S. Icó. Researched and filmed whilst on the Mondriaan Fonds supported Capacete Residency in Rio de Janeiro.