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lourival cuquinha | tc: temporary contemporary

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Lourival Cuquinha | Varal (detail) | 2012 | used clothes, nautical rope and steel cable | Courtesy of the artist and A GENTIL CARIOCA, Rio de Janeiro | photo by Silvia Ros

Location: Collins Park

“Stretching across an arc of political inflection and poetic gesture, Lourival Cuquinha’s work emerges as a site of challenge that invites the viewer to question the position of art in the negotiations around freedom. The artist explains: ’The idea of hanging clothes in huge shafts, both inside cities and outside them, occurred to me after observing a habit of the people who live in the Santo Amaro community (favela) in Recife, in the northeast of Brazil. A varal or clothes line is a natural urban intervention for those people who don’t have enough space to dry their clothes. They modify the landscape for a very functional reason. Re-using this action and giving it gigantic dimensions is the main idea of the work. This increased my interest in social habits and their representations. I collect the clothes locally, asking for donations. The donors become the authors of the piece, and their clothes carry their customs and memories. The work represents a micro-social geographic empowerment of the favela’s residents, who turned the public space into something useful, without aesthetic intentions. They created their own means of access to what the Brazilian government doesn’t provide. Varal is a metaphor for this social situation.’”

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