Walls of Air was created for the Brazilian Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale in May 2018. Curated by Sol Camacho, Laura González Fierro, Gabriel Kozlowski, and Marcelo Maia Rosa, the exhibition attempts to uncover the visible and invisible walls that have built Brazil. It showcases several large-scale maps that weave together a narrative of issues that affect not only Brazil but also other countries in the Americas. The maps examine the borders of the country, the history of the foundation of its cities, the flows of people through migration, the fluxes of raw materials and commodities, the real estate market, and environmental questions.
The concept and title for the exhibition was conceived as a response to the theme of “Freespace” proposed by Venice Biennale general curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara in order to provoke questions about the different sorts of walls that construct, on multiple scales, the Brazilian territory and the borders of architecture itself in relation to other disciplines. Therefore, a reflection began on how much Brazilian architecture and its urban developments are, in fact, free. Without the ambition of reaching an answer, but hoping to open the conversation to a large and diverse public, the curatorial team chose to shed light on processes that often go unnoticed due to their nature or scale.
The immaterial barriers built between people or neighborhoods and the processes of urbanization in Brazil on a continental scale are examples of questions that were considered.
The presentation ofWalls of Air at Americas Society was made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the generous support from the Consulate General of Brazil in New York and the Garcia Family Foundation.
Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the support from the Arts of the Americas Circle members: Estrellita Brodsky; Galeria Almeida e Dale; Kaeli Deane; Diana Fane; Isabella Hutchinson; Carolina Jannicelli; Vivian Pfeiffer and Jeanette van Campenhout, Phillips; Luis Oganes; Roberto Redondo; Erica Roberts; Sharon Schultz; Herman Sifontes; and Edward J. Sullivan.
“The choice of a cartographic language was made with the aim of escaping from traditional exhibition models, saturated by realistic images, as well as combining the use of drawing—the architect’s main tool to represent space—with advanced geo-referencing tools.”—The Curatorial Team
MAP 01 / Crossbreedings: Brazilian Architects Abroad
How frank is the exchange of Brazilian architects with the world?
MAP 02 / Human Flows: The Dilution of Barriers through Cultural Assimilation
How open is Brazil to the reception of immigrants?
MAP 03 / Material Flows: Physical Imprint of Commodities Exchange
How sensitive is the urban environment to the movement of commodities?
MAP 04 / Fluid Landscape: Encounter Between Human and Natural Ecosystems How unregulated is the relationship between human and natural ecosystems?
MAP 05 / The Map is not the Territory: A Retraced Border
How unimpeded is access to the Brazilian border?
MAP 06 / Succession of Edges: Narratives on the Building of an Urban Country
How detached from a cohesive vision of Brazil has the urban formation of the country been?
MAP 07 / Geography of the Real Estate Market: Controversies between the Agenda of Capital and that of Architecture
How unobstructed is the agenda of the real estate market against that of architecture?
MAP 08 / Inhabiting the House or the City? The Impact of the Minha Casa Minha Vida housing program
How generous are the Brazilian housing programs in offering the right to the city?
MAP 09 / Solid Divisions: Borders within the City
How unrestrained is the trespassing of limits between disparate urban fabrics?
MAP 10 / The Encryption of Power: Disobedience and Exclusion in the City
How liberating can Pixo be in revealing the city’s power logics?
CARTOGRAPHIES TEAM: Gabriel Kozlowski, Laura González Fierro, Marcelo Maia Rosa, Sol Camacho / COLLABORATORS: Gabriel Duarte, Bárbara Graeff, Chiara Scotoni, Haydar Baydoun, Heloisa Escudeiro, Olivia Serra, Miguel Darcy, Manoela Pessoa, and Rafael Marengoni, MAPS 01-10. Marc Angélil, Rainer Hehl, Patricia Lucena Ventura, Rede Cidade e Moradia, and Cota 760, MAP 08. Equipe Escola da Cidade: Pedro Vada (coordinator), Newton Massafumi, Pedro M. R. Sales, Beatriz Dias, Bruna Marchiori, Giulia Ribeiro, Isabela Moraes, Karime Zaher, Marilia Serra, Mateus Loschi, Pedro H Norberto, MAPS 09-10. Quapá – FAU USP, MAP 09. Cripta Djan, MAP 10.