MAM opens the year with the show Dancing Museum, which blends works from the collection with a term of residence by the São Paulo Dance Company
Show in the Main Hall curated by Felipe Chaimovich and Inês Bogéa exhibits 40 works related to choreography, featuring pieces by Hélio Oiticica, Mira Schendel, Abraham Palatnik, Ascânio MMM and Sérgio Camargo. The Paulo Figueiredo Hall is given over to experimental contemporary dance sessions and screenings of videos and documentaries about the SPDC
From January 26 to June 21, 2015, the São Paulo Modern Art Museum presents Dancing Museum, an exhibition of 40 works from the collection, produced in a range of different techniques, that explore aspects of dance and movement. Allied with and exploring these works is a residency by the São Paulo Companhia de Dança (SPCD). In order to connect the visual arts and contemporary dance, MAM curator Felipe Chaimovich invited Inês Bogéa, director of the SPCD, to join him in creating an exhibition in an experimental context in which the museum’s collection dialogues with the troupe’s choreographic repertoire, dealing with such issues as social codes and bodily freedoms, in order to create a unique experience that envisages greater interaction between the public and the art world.
In the Main Room we exhibit works specially selected for their potential to engage the principles of choreography, such as gravity, imbalance and fluctuation. Some of the selected pieces go beyond a merely contemplative relationship with the viewer and invite the visitors to interact. In fact, certain works can be walked around, touched, entered, climbed on, slid down, stepped on or lain across; in other words, they create situations of movement that transform the exhibition into a venue of intense physical interaction.
“I’ve seen dance performances at museums in other parts of the world, whether once-off events or longer programs, but this is the first time that a museum in Brazil is going to produce a show that actually includes contemporary dance”, explains Chaimovich. “There’s no precedent, especially when you consider that this dance is going to emerge within MAM itself, with the power to chance through interaction with the public. It’s experimental from start to finish”, says the curator.
For Inês Bogéa, director of the São Paulo Companhia de Dança, the partnership is a dialogue between dance and the SPCD’s professionals, on one hand, and the MAM space, on the other. “We’re also looking for movement in the encounter between the dance troupe and the visiting public that could actually transform the environment, which we’ll be occupying for three whole months”, says Inês. “Performances inside museums are a growing attraction and we’re delighted to be starting that here”, she adds.
Divided into three modules—Gravity, Imbalance and Fluctuation—the works selected for the exhibition include sculptures, drawings, reliefs, videos, collages, objects, engravings, installations and performances, all of which will be exhibited in such a way that the spacing between the works leaves room for dance. Among the 40 artworks selected from the museum’s collection of over five thousand items are Escultura três (1972) by Ascânio MMM; the heliographic print Caminos 1 (1982), by León Ferrari; two Metaesquema (1958) drawings by Hélio Oiticica; one Aparelho cinecromático (1969/86), by Abraham Palatnik; two drawings and an engraving by Mira Schendel; the relief Untitled (Eclipse Grande), by Sérgio Camargo (1971); as well as the sculptures Cavalo Branco, by Sandra Cinto (1998), and Luz-espaço: tempo de um movimento (1953-55), by Mary Vieira.
In order to create a sense of movement, the show also features nine installations, including Templo, by Franklin Cassaro (2000), made out of sheets of newspaper, sticky tape and ventilators, and Do Universo ao Baile, by Dias & Riedweg (2008), a video installation based on swings wrapped in adhesive vinyl. Also shown will be Ernesto Neto’s Copulônia (1989-91), in graffitied lead and polyamide, and ~ (2013), by Daniel Steegmann, which consists of aluminum chains and steel sheets with electrostatic painting. Other items on-show will be Laura Lima’s Quadris de homem=carne / mulher=carne (1995), in which two men are joined together in a cloth harness and scuttle about the gallery like a crab (the first performance to become part of a museum collection and the first of its kind to be sold by a Brazilian artist), and Palhaço com buzina – monte de irônicos (2007).
The dance residency will be divided into two parts. The first phase, held three times a week until mid-February, will be coordinated by the Germany-based Rio-born choreographer Clébio Oliveira. In the second, which runs to the end of the show, Rafael Gomes, a dancer with the SPCD, will be coordinating twice-weekly sessions with the troupe.
“The idea behind the choreographic creation taking place a few days a week, including Sundays, is that it can spill outside into the marquee area, where it can interact with those who already dance there and bring those people inside MAM”, says the curator. The main goal is for the museum to engage the surrounding social reality, create an interface with the public and work with their reality. “As an experiment, it will be different and unpredictable, which is why we’re going to use the creative process of contemporary dance and the work of young Brazilian choreographers to draw the public from the marquee into the museum”, says Chaimovich.
During intervals we’ll be screening videos of São Paulo Companhia de Dança choreographies and documentaries from the Figures of Dance series, which profiles major Brazilian personalities from the world of dance”, says Inês.
About the choreographers
Clébio Oliveira – Dancer, choreographer and contemporary dance teacher, a graduate of the Centro Universitário da Cidade (RJ). He has danced for the Cia. de Dança Deborah Colker (RJ) and Toula Limnaios (Germany) and created choreographies for numerous companies in Brazil and abroad. In 2012, he won the Hoffnungträger prize (Most promising choreographer), awarded by the German publication TanzMagazine, and, in 2011, won the National Choreographic Competition of Chicago (USA). He has been living in Berlin since 2008, where he works as an independent artist.
Rafael Gomes – Dancer with the SPCD since 2008. Gomes is from Rio de Janeiro, where he began his studies at the Rio Dance Center at age 13, graduating in 2002. After spending a year with the Companhia Jovem de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro, he joined the Cia. de Dança Deborah Colker. He was a choreographer on the Artist’s Future Skills Development Program in 2011 and 2012, created to stimulate other activities related to dance. In 2013 he produced the SPCD’s choreography for a fashion show by the brand UMA during São Paulo Fashion Week. In 2014, Rafael created Bingo!, as part of the SPCD’s Brazilian Choreographers Studio.