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By Oliver Bazely, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – Last month saw U.S.-Brazilian photography collective O Estendal (The Drying) convert Rio’s historic Praça Tiradentes into an unlikely art gallery. Curious passers-by saw images tied to stakes and hung on washing lines, arranged into a visual dialogue by the curator, Claudia Tavares.

The collective O Estendal unveil their Shanghai Park exhibition, photo by O Estendal.

Claudia has received training in photography both in Rio, at UFRJ, and in London, at Goldsmiths University. To start the creative process, photos on the theme of ‘Por um Fio’ (By a Wire) were contributed by photographers Ana Rodrigues, Daniel Chiacos, Fred Pacífico, Henrique Andrade, Sílvio Moréia, Kelly Lima and Stella Mello.

The exhibition made use of the interconnecting wires as a component in the dialogue, and, as the images were printed on fabric, the natural elements or Rio’s weather were also left to have their say.

Por um Fio was just the first of several events planned by the group, and the mobile exhibition will be heading to Praça São Salvador, in Laranjeiras, for a show entitled ‘Salve-se Quem Puder’ (Save Yourself, If You Can). The group will also display some of their images at ‘Off Paraty’, which associated with Paraty’s famous ‘Paraty em Foco’.

Running from the 15th to the 19th September, Paraty em Foco is one of Brazil’s most successful art festivals, and the 2010 edition will be its sixth outing. This year’s program includes interviews with local and international personalities, ranging from the local hero and arctic explorer, Amyr Klink, to the renowned French photographer Georges Rousse.

Photographic display from Paraty em Foco 2006, photo by Tatiana Sapateiro, Creative Commons License.

Visitors can attend one of the many workshops, with subjects for study including ‘image curation’, ‘visual narratives’, and the ‘National Geographic experience’. The festival organizers are also committed to the local community, with several initiatives aimed at helping local artists develop their skills.

Nearby schools will be able to make use of donated camera equipment, and several youngsters will help organize the event as part of the festivals internship program. As with previous editions there will also be an auction, giving attendees the chance to purchase world-class yet affordable examples of photographic art.

This weekend was also a busy one for several members of the ‘O Estendal’ group, including American Daniel Chiacos and Henrique Andrade, who moved their exhibition ‘Domingo no Parque’ from ‘Studio Galeria’ in Vila Isabel, to Parque Shanghai in Penha. Parque Shanghai is the site of a beautiful old amusement park, and is also the subject of the photos.

The exhibition was based on the recovery of lost childhood, through photos which recapture the excitement of playing in the park and riding on the traditional carousel. Daniel’s blog can be viewed here.

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