Flying Down to Rio 2012
Written by Manuela Moscoso. Manuela is a 2011-12 Van Lier Curatorial Fellow at the Queens Museum of Art. She sees collaborations as integral to her practice. She has curated shows in Spain, Brazil and New York. Since 2010, she has co-directed the New York based curatorial office Rivet. She holds an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
The point of inspiration for this installment of the Queens Museum’s biennial Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle, was Daumal’s Mount Analog. Its main character, father Sogol brings a group of scientists to climb a mountain that is undetectable by the human eye. The book brings us to a field where reason and the transcendental overlap. Of course, my move to Brazil has little to do with this expedition or with transcendence. I am going to Capacete, to co-direct an artist residency program. I’ll be a host more so than a leader of exploration.
But Rio de Janeiro, my future home, has a layered history that intertwines spirituality and modern know-how. Right now, it is mostly known for its beautiful landscape, its beautiful people, the world cup and an uncomfortable idea of ‘favela’ chic. The rocks that line the Rio shore have had a powerful impact in the spiritual field: a huge Christ statue watches over the bay and signals the meeting point of religion/spirit and the sublimity of the landscape. The bay’s fog often makes the rocks invisible, as if they had a power of their own. Rio boomed in the early twentieth-century and has, since then, had a very decisive role in culture. Before the creation of Corbusier’s Brasilia, the city stood for progress and living in the vanguard, of ideas, architecture and general lifestyle. And that is not just because of the landscape, but because Brazil has had an influx of people from all over the world that inform their way of life and of understanding reality.
The Rio I am going to is a very particular place: at Capacete, artists from all over the world come to work, research and live. In a way, it will be the flip-side of what I did when working on the biennial: if that process brought me to the world of artists based in one specific, place (Queens), soon I will be the one with a base, while others move around. But until then, I am practicing my Rio and samba moves (see video) and enjoying my last days at QMA.