the invasion of urban spaces – césar meneghetti’s views on Video Guerrilha

Brazil,Uncategorized elena @ 3:08 pm

Les terra's di nadie by Cesar Meneghetti

My first experience of urban intervention was in Rome in 2002 putting some Yanomami
Indians from Amazon in a 1600’s baroque facade of a church. Now in São Paulo the
situation is completely different, the VIDEOGUERRILLA experience of audiovisual invasion
of public spaces in São Paulo was very singular cause my work could reach two different
typologies of people, museumgoers and Augusta street people at same time. For a city
of 20 million inhabitants the number of people that goes to museums and art galleries are
minimum compared to the population and making this move, bringing a public art space to
the street were a brilliant initiative. The Augusta street is a metaphor of São Paulo, a 135
years old street that crosses the town linking the glamour side of Jardins to the underground
and alternative Bela Vista having inside several restaurants of all cuisines, sports center,
cinemas, shops, nightclubs, bookshops, universities, a red light district, a loads of bars. The
meeting point of playboys, hippies, emos, theatre actors and just people starving for fun. The
VIDEOGUERRILLA project this year was made possible by using a cutting edge equipment
from Visualfarm, a company that provided all the facilities for the 7 huge projections on the
façade of various buildings in the street.

Cesar Meneghetti. Photo by Beatriz Franco

To extend the access of contemporary art and street art to a large audience of passers of
all ages in my hometown was a very strong experience, especially for me that were living
in Europe the last 23 years. The video LTDN ( a half way political
and aesthetic work I made in 2007 was shown at the same time at MIS (Museum of Image
and Sound of São Paulo) and in the street buildings in Lower Augusta, acquire an important
meaning in producing and exhibiting. Just a few days before the presidential elections I am
projecting a video which is talking about the dictatorships in Brazil and in Chile. The most
stimulating thing for me was the attention that people had watching the video.
The whole VIDEOGUERRILLA event was definitely a further stage of the TIMEFRAME
project firstly released in Amsterdam, Durban, La Havana and now in São Paulo,
accumulating videos from diverse backgrounds and merging in one only street media and
video artists, professional or young VJs, hackers, producers and many other people that give
an enormous energy for the event. It means living contemporary history, media and art at the
same time, in the context of urban intervention and potential cultural bomb, and making art
take part of ordinary life reducing the gap between the artist and the rest of the citizens. I felt
something urgent nowadays that art does reach a huge crowd and not only a small niche,
and talk about contemporary needs, thoughts, feelings, as a bare nerve of our society. A
great merit of TIMEFRAME and VISUALFARM, mixing the context of art production, of some
commercial and professional artists and craftsmen of the video to the general public, be it
artistic content, experimental, technological, or simply an expression of underground culture.
It suits so much the “paulistano” style that when the event went over, everybody miss the
projections, because they have incorporated as part of the urban furniture.
My auspices for the future is that an event of such impact and synchronicity with the town
could be held every year, every month, every weekend, making it a platform for various
artists, monographs or monothematic group shows where they can feed the cultural debate
and exchange of thoughts. As it happen in São Paulo, making rua Augusta, a place that
was the symbol of degrade and decay rise again through art, using new technologies. The
city of São Paulo and its ambiguities unsolved becomes an important art space and though
imagination these projections can be taken as a symbol of change, a certain cultural shock
that incorporates the present Brazilian reality.

César Meneghetti | artist + filmmaker

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