By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Visually exploring the dimensions and perspectives of several icons of Rio architecture, the exhibit “O Espaço Que Se Move” (The Space That Moves), by artist Deborah Engel, will open on Tuesday, December 16th and run through Monday, January 30th in Studio-X Rio.
Located in Centro (Downtown), Rio de Janeiro, Studio-X Rio is part of the global network of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) laboratories and often hosts and sponsors a variety of urban planning and architecture-themed events including discussions, workshops and exhibits.
In “O Espaço Que Se Move” (The Space That Moves), the works of artist Deborah Engel explore through photographic works, two video installations and physical “maze-like” installations, the spaces of Rio landmarks including: Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM), the Palacio Capanema, Parque Lage and Igreja Nossa Senhora do Bonsucesso.
Engel a São Paulo native, who has lived and worked in Rio for over twelve years, told The Rio Times that the spaces represented in the pieces of the current exhibit held symbolic meaning to her.
“The Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage in Jardim Botânico), was a portal for me when I came to live in Rio,” said Engel. “For several years I worked at MAM. Palacio Capanema also welcomed me and others areas, Igreja Nossa Senhora do Bonsucesso and Prazeres, were places I wanted to record because to me they represented portals.”
Several works included in the exhibit were made in Paris, France and São Paulo. “The other pictures that are out of Rio,” said Engel, ” were made at the Escola Belas Artes de Paris, where I was part of a residency at Cité Internationale des Artes that I did with my husband and fellow artist Siri, and the piece “Escadaria” (Staircase) was made in São Paulo.”
Engel is known for her photographic and video works that explore space and time. She has previously exhibited in the Artur Fidalgo Gallery and the Centro Cultural Municipal Laurinda Santos Lobo in Rio as well as the DConcept Escritório de Arte in São Paulo.
Of the physical installations that will be part of the “O Espaço Que Se Move” exhibit, Engel said, “The idea is to show a new space, imagery, in which the viewer is invited to walk with your eyes. By holding this a Studio-X we are already asking viewers to think in terms of space and their relationships to it. I try to present it in a more poetic form.”
Researcher, essayist and Doctor of Literature from PUC-Rio, Frederico Coelho, stated that Engel’s work,”brings noises that break the perfect plan and impeccable geometry,” and that “Deborah shows us that even with eyes wandering through an era full of imagery excesses, the are ways to invent a view of the world that is still an experimental adventure.”
Of her involvement with Studio-X, Engel said; “I met Peter Rivera [Architect and director of Studio-X Rio] through a residency that he and Siri did in London. As our works speak of the spatial relationships, be they poetic, urban or architectural, we thought [the exhibition] would make a very interesting dialogue.”
During opening night of the exhibition, Engel’s husband Siri will present a special sound performance. The “O Espaço Que Se Move” exhibition will then continue through January 30th.
What: Deborah Engel’s “O Espaço Que Se Move”
When: Opening on Tuesday, December 16th. Will run through January 30th.
Where: Studio-X Rio, Praça Tiradentes 48, Centro, RJ
Entrance: See venue for details.