Squatting in Sao Paulo as a major art and political force
@ Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
Opening Tuesday, December 10th, from 4:30PM - 6PM
In conversation with the works by Preta Ferreira and the MST as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial exploring the struggles for housing rights in the city of Sao Paulo, the event will analyze the history of artistic squatting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, inspired by the exportation of the Berlin model and the transformation of squats from platforms to fight against gentrification to active cultural, artistic and educational centers for community building throughout the 2000s. The discussion will focus on the history of the squat Ouvidor 63 as a major example of this movement; an artistic squat occupied in 2014 and currently, the largest squat in Latin America. Located right in the heart of the city, the fourteen floor building harbors more than a hundred artists (circus performers, painters, fashion designers, filmmakers, curators, musicians…) from countless different nationalities, the majority are either Brazilians or from other Latin American countries. Many different artistic collectives, like Atelier Nuventre, Androides Androginos and music bands like Nicolas Nao tem Banda have been originated in the space. It currently hosts an annual Biennial, and artistic and cultural events throughout the year. In the recent years it has evolved into an essential element of the neighborhood and of the city, promoting community engagement and providing social services that are not covered by the government like artistic workshops for children. Ouvidor has also become a safe space for queer artists of color and a place for gathering and cultural production; promoting encounters and collaborations among multidisciplinary artists coming from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds.
Participants/ guest speakers include previous residents of the squat and multidisciplinary self-taught artists Amen Sirius and Luís Só., the later will join us on Skype and will be talking about his experience as one of the co-funding members of the squat. Marina Resende will be participating and facilitating translations.
Luis Só: Gaucho, now a citizen of the world. Graduated in Ed, Physics (ULBRA / RS). also studied Graphic Design (Estácio de Sá / RJ) and Arts (EAV of Parque Lage), Luís Só is a multimedia artist. Lead singer of the band “Nicolas no Banda” and one of the co-founders of Ouvidor 63, (Latin America’s Largest Artistic Squat), where he stayed until the first half of 2019, currently the artist is part of the Skate Point Ouvidor63 Collective, and Espaço Colabirinto Cultural (Bixiga / SP). His art is inspired by lowbrow, the underground visual arts movement that emerged in Los Angeles in the late 1970s – also known as pop surrealism. Só’s poetics has influences from music, poetry, media, books, schizophrenia, to name a few.
Marina Resende graduated in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago. In Brazil, she started the International Relations program at the University of Brasília. She is interested in artist-run initiatives that question and create alternatives to conventional institutions and social normality. She is currently working at the Co-Prosperity Sphere and Lumpen magazine in Bridgeport. Marina has been speaking to collectives and artist-led projects in Brazil about responsibility and resistance in the current political moment.
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