Suspended spaces is a project proposed by a collective of artists whose work has been based since 2007 on spaces which are suspended due to political, economical, and historical conflicts.What remains of these fragile spaces of modernity, this question makes necessary our artistic gaze.The first place was the ghost city of Famagusta in Cyprus, then the site of the international fair of Tripoli in Lebanon, a project conceived by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, which remained uncompleted. The construction started in 1962 and was never finished due to the beginning of the civil war in 1975. Images of the Tripoli Fair can be seen in several art works in the exhibition.
Suspended spaces is a research project which organizes residencies, exhibitions, and produces artworks and publications. Suspended spaces doesn’t target places. In each one of the phases (Cyprus, Lebanon, Brazil), we were invited to share with our host, the experience of places, which were particularly fragile, marked by conflicts, with difficult and precarious conditions of life. Our starting point was the idea that these uneasy conditions creates a context in which experience and thoughts become an interesting matter for contemporary creation and views on the complexe world we live in today. Yet our position is anything but melancholic.
In Brazil the collective of artists was invited by Luiz Guilherme Vergara to interact with and encounter a building, a space, the MAC, and the way it is inscribed in the urban fabric of Niteroi. Brazilian artists whose work echo in many ways our concerns, were also invited to participate.
In Lebanon like in Niteroi, the aim is not to focus on the architecture of Niemeyer, but rather on the relation between an idea of modernity carried by a universalist thought and desire and a socio-historical context. More specifically, L.G. Vergara invited us to consider MAC without separating it from Maquinho, which is right above the museum and to develop a relation with the inhabitants of Morro do Palaçio.
These encounters led to artistic proposals that reflect on our experience, while accepting the potential fragility and breaches in the works that are still at an early stage.
The exhibition presents works about the Niemeyer site in Tripoli as well as new artistic projects specially realized during the residency in Niteroi.