SITU, curated by Bruno de Almeida. A platform of artistic production and research, the project inquires about the potential of a dialogue between art, architecture and the city, and its possible reverberations and contributions to a broader questioning of contemporary urbanity as a physical-social matrix.
This project invites a number of Latin American artists to, one after another, take hold of the external spaces of Galeria Leme's building, devising temporary and site-specific works which relate both to the construction and to the adjoining public space.
The choice of this gallery is motivated, on one hand, by its project – commissioned to the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Pritzker Prize, 2006) in collaboration with Metro Associated Architects– and on the other hand, by its complex history of construction, demolition, replication and expansion, which can be taken as a representation, on a small scale, of the evolutionary processes of São Paulo and of many other metropolises from the geopolitical south.
The curatorial focus falls upon artists whose researches gravitate around architectural and urban space issues, as well as other tangential topics. In addition, there is an emphasis on Latin American artists, as they have another bodily and intellectual understanding of space that comes from an intense familiarity with the complexity of the public sphere and of the urban and social processes that are specific to Latin America.
To design the first site-specific, SITU invites José Carlos Martinat. Motivated both by the architecture of Galeria Leme's building, as well as by the social dynamics of the city of São Paulo, the Peruvian artist creates his most subtle installation to date. He focuses on the immaterial flows, discourses and information that actively participate in the construction and contestation of the urban space.
In Stereo Reality Environment / Open Data / SP, Martinat overlaps, to the building, an infrastructure that is almost imperceptible to the pedestrians. It consists of a software that extracts, from the official website of the Portal da Transparência Estadual (State Transparency Portal - Described as the "gateway of the citizen to the main data of the Paulista Government" in www.transparencia.sp.gov.br), statistical information on the costs and revenues of the state of São Paulo. The information is printed as tax receipts, and the coupons are released to the outside of the building.
With this gesture, the artist inquires the intrinsic capacity of inert elements in the city, such as buildings, to activate an engagement with the urban reality, understood beyond its physical form. Turning the viewer into a silent interlocutor and a carrier of information.