Visual Essays

Oskar Schmidt

28 Aug, 13h37

Tropical Fruit, Fruit, Cut Out, Banana, Passionfruit, South America, Yellow Color, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Red Color, Color Image, Food, Green Color, Horizontal, Juicy, No People, Photography, Raw Food, Healthy Eating, Studio Shot, Two Objects, White Background, Yellow, Starfruit, Freshness, Whole, Multi Colored, 2017, Open

Visual Essays

(Ghost) -a poem for lina bos turtle

18 Aug, 14h46











a small breeze

an empty fountain

a precise watch




shadows of obejcts


ghosts aligned


time tempotime






Value what


shadows of objects that



(but no longer do)


temporalities, time zones, zombies







(the flâneuse)






windows vision blurred





entagled threads





eletric connections disconnected by waters flow

water disconnect eletric nets

no network

works in water

eletric waves are waved and unread

un reachable













floating in the city of  glass,

an ocean of endless reflections of nothingness

a piece of glass, a stump of wood, waters of march

Its  fall

I fell



Ok, a short pause: then another important stament, or not or yes, dont say sorry

…. I aint sorry,- listen to beyonce and then rihanna. Work no work work no, maybe lets dance instead, white powder on your head



buildings being torn down

histories becoming


with its ghost like dresses

floating in the city space


Virginia woolf was a street haunting, an oyster drifting, Im a muscle





*the artist was at Pivô to research the works of Brasilian artist Helio Oticica, Lygia Pape, Lygia Clark and the architect Lina Bo Bardi, the work above is from an experimental process that expanded beyond this and comes out of an intimate conversation with the city, and new friends . It will be included and further expanded in a larger project that will find its form in a publication and exhibition in Copenhagen the fall 17, and continue after that into the future. All photos were shot on Iphone 5.

The Research Stay was kindly supported by the Danish Arts Council


Oral - Daniel Albuquerque

09 Aug, 12h21

High above the city of São Paulo is the gallery Boatos Fine Arts. Housed in a converted apartment on the 12th floor of an 15 floor tower block, the space has polished parquet floors and is pleasingly rough around the edges which creates a newly established feel. The luminescence of the main gallery space is fueled by a bank of windows filling the room with South American sunlight and providing breathtaking views of the mega-city skyline.

Here quietly sits Daniel Albequerque’s exhibition ‘Oral’, an installation comprising a series of square and triangular knitted wall hangings and a set of floor based and ceiling hung re-bar & plaster sculptures. The white skeletal sculptures create weird apertures through which other artworks and the exhibition layout can viewed. One sequence of sculptural works, when taken from a distance, creates a composite face; writing a cartoonish image into the architectural space of the gallery.

The surface of the sculptures are touched here and there with subtle thumbprints of coloured plaster, highlighting their current ossified state. These pastel markers are indexical nods to both materiality and process, and offer a sense of narrative; perhaps tidemarks of where tendon and flesh once was.

Whilst the sculptures bring to mind a calcified skeleton — literally the bare bones of a situation — the woven wall hangings provide contrast with their material generosity. The tactility reminding one of friendship, love: offered warmth and comfort through the sharing of a blanket and body.

In places, colored acrylic paint has been applied directly to the hangings in simple stripes and lines, causing the woolen thread to clog and congeal. Here is a moment of interrupted metamorphosis, when material is transformed into neither woven tapestry nor painting. In this undefined state, where material and process fail, memory steps to try and anchor the works with personal narratives.

Painted directly onto the gallery wall behind one of the wall hangings is a blue rectangle which is rendered shimmering and gossamer behind the loose knitted stitches. This conjures a moment when we can imagine a secret passed from one lover to another.

In the development of his language Albuquerque wears his art historical references lightly; Giacometti here Rauschenberg there, a smattering of Guston. Poised, powerful, the works feel as if they hold personal secrets which, if you gain their trust, could be divulged.

The difficultly lies in the view out of the window: how does one compete with a city as visually tangled as Sao Paulo? Albuquerque’s choice is to invoke an inner narrative through material and process. His work is poetic and emotionally generous if you’re wiling to invest in the quiet spaces between.


Jonathan Murphy 2017

PIVÔ Interviews

Pivô interviews Dan Coopey

24 Jul, 13h39

Fernanda Brenner The inescapable question of the role of art in these current times of insecurity, economic volatility, climate change and political turmoil has been haunting me recently. When the future no longer seems predictable we tend to look to the past and its stable narratives for possible answers to why we ended up here or how to proceed. Your work delves into vernacular techniques combined with found tribal objects and industrial materials; for example, an ancient Kuba textile is sewn together with cheap and colourful Chinese thread. How do you see the question of permanence? And how do you relate to the provenance of the materials and techniques you use to shape your work?

Dan Coopey My works often evolve from or utilise found objects, in particular those that are connected to what I term ‘speculative histories’, and objects that have long-running narratives that span many or even most cultures. Basketry is one example of this, as due to the perishable nature of the natural materials employed, very few ancient basketry artifacts remain today. What we know mostly comes from fossilisation.

There is a theory that in pre-history, basket makers lined their woven vessels with clay so they could carry liquid. Accidental fires meant that some of the baskets perished and the original fired clay vessel was all that remained. This theory interests me, as one would assume that at this point basketry would become outmoded, yet it is still widely practised today.

Although these historical narratives inform my practice, it is a mistake to assume that my works are concerned only with the past; I consider my practice to deal with the present, and in turn the future. My works with basketry are often interpreted through ancient histories, yet with the new works exhibited at Pivô, the viewer can see the contemporaneity of the new materials when contrasted/ intertwined with the found indigenous vessels.

I am keen to see my works in ten years time, as I am conscious of how the rattan will age, its colour deepening over time.

With regards to my intervention with the Kuba textiles that you mention, I mended the holes and tears that had appeared over time through their use as ceremonial dresses. The value of these fabrics is largely dependent on their condition, so I was interested to see how my repairs would change their value, as my intervention could be considered both an act of compassion – in some sense rescuing them from ruin – and an invasive, even destructive act. Regardless of their new valuation, my interaction with them has ensured that they remain intact for years to come, even if they no longer function within the culture they originated from.

FB You always hide small objects inside your basket-works. I really like the idea of an artwork having a secret, something that can only be accessed if the sculpture is torn apart. Sometimes the titles offer hints to what is inside. Can you tell me about these hidden objects and how you select them?

DC The objects I hid inside previous woven works were always found items, either tools or ornaments that are handcrafted from base materials, metals, minerals, etc. These objects perform several functions within the work.

I am interested in how an object’s value shifts when out of sight. For example, a 19th century set of hand-carved ebony piano keys are just raw material when the only evidence of their presence is the material listing in the work’s caption. I like however that in a hundred years time, when the basket perishes, the object inside will retain its original value, though presumably by then, the value of ebony, and the value of piano keys, will have shifted either up or down. Hiding the objects also raises the question of the value attributed to artistry and craftsmanship. Each time I make a new work in this series, I try to find an object made from a material I have never used before. I enjoy this challenge, because as the series progresses it becomes ever more difficult. The objects are often antique, as handicrafts are largely outmoded and were replaced by mass produced items. Each time I travel I am introduced to new materials, for example in Sicily I found coral, and here in Brazil a lot of items are made from nuts, stones and agate.

FB For this exhibition you are trying something new. Combining found indigenous artifacts (pots and baskets) with your particular weaving methods. It is different from the Kuba textile works because instead of fixing the holes in the old fabric using new materials you are creating new structures that depart from the artifacts, thus annulling the possibility of practical use and their relationship with their origin or any kind of symbolic value they might have. In these works, the indigenous basket shares the same hierarchy of the rattan threads. In your practice, you are constantly shifting the notions of material and symbolic values, for instance, in the copper works. Can you tell me how you see the relationship between attributed value and raw matter in your work?

DC The use of indigenous baskets in these new works partly came from an interest in what I perceive as a very unstable, fluctuating set of values that are attributed to these objects. Removed from their original context, their value here in a big city, specifically São Paulo, is mostly for use as home accessories, particularly amongst the educated classes. Their material value rapidly increases as indigenous communities disappear, and there is now a scarcity of authentic indigenous items. Most of what you find today in stores that sell indigenous items in São Paulo is not what you could term genuine artifacts, but objects made solely for this particular market.

My intervention with these baskets – expanding and altering their forms using materials and techniques that are alien to their origin – deactivates their ability to function as practical vessels. Yet in some respects their displacement means that this is a condition already inherent to them

Last time I was in São Paulo, I spent a lot of time studying and admiring indigenous baskets, yet I felt uncomfortable trying to imitate the techniques I had learned, and although my intervention here could seem intrusive, I feel that the contrast with my own weaving somehow allows the found objects to retain their identity, perhaps even heightening the viewer’s awareness of the specific forms and materials used to create the indigenous vessels.

FB Architectural and artisanal vernacular techniques are no longer easy to find in Brazil. Items were either entirely replaced by industrial manufacture and importation or are treated as ‘ethnical’ merchandise for decoration purposes. Lina Bo Bardi’s 1969 seminal show A Mão do Povo Brasileiro – recently reedited at MASP – dealt with these issues by bringing together a large inventory of what used to be ‘The hand of the Brazilian People’. The current curators chose not to update the collection and showed only pieces from that period. The 1969 exhibition became itself a museum piece and, arguably, contemporary art is looking more and more to the locally sourced and to its own ecological footprint (the latest editions of the Venice and São Paulo Biennials are good examples), instead of reinforcing the lavish and globetrotting art world of the early 2000s. You mentioned once that people often say your work looks Brazilian, and this is your second extended stay in the country. How does being in Brazil affect your work? Do you agree with this image of your work?

DC Last time I was in São Paulo, many people thought my work looked ‘Brazilian’, and this has instigated the works I’m making here now. As a self-taught weaver, I am very aware of the specific origins of the techniques I use and the materials I employ, therefore, I am able to make a strong distinction between the weaving I do – which is actually a hodgepodge of weaves from across the globe that I use to create vessels which have no real point of reference in terms of cultural identity – and the very specific weaves and materials used here in Brazil.

I think the resultant works are interesting as in some ways they dispel this idea but they could also be perceived as even more ‘Brazilian’, as they employ found Brazilian objects. But this is an interesting idea. In many of the items sold here, mostly food, you can see the label ‘Made in Brazil’. As a foreigner in São Paulo making these works, could I label them as ‘Made in Brazil’? And what would it mean to do so? I still don’t really have an answer.

Handcrafted objects such as baskets are often collective endeavours when made in indigenous communities; the sourcing of materials, their preparation and the crafting itself may involve many hands. I am aware that I am producing these works in the city, within a society that is more geared towards the recognition of the individual. This is clearly evident in social media etc., but it is interesting to think that by utilising these objects in my artwork, they somehow become authored, and their value is shifted under my name. Perhaps my act of weaving also gets more recognition, precisely because I am doing it in a context dominated by quick mass production and flat screens. But I hope that through the recognition of my own manual labour, people will consider the other hands involved, or maybe even see my works as a collective endeavour.

FB Finally, can you tell me about the process and installation of this particular exhibition? Does the venue’s context and architecture play a significant role in the conception of the show or are you mainly focused in producing the artworks?

DC For this exhibition I have chosen a fairly informal mode of presentation, as the objects I have created are in themselves quite informal. This non-hierarchical method of display also references the environment of the stores selling indigenous items here in São Paulo, which are often a jumble of different forms and textures. A kind of a beautiful mess, similar to what we see here in São Paulo’s Centro.



Nadja Abt

11 Jul, 16h18

“The maritime world interested me, as it is a world of gigantic automation, but also of persistent, isolated, anonymous, occult, a work of great solitude, where there is a huge dislocation and separation from the domestic sphere” [1] (Allan Sekula, 2002)

In order to arrive at Pivô in São Paulo, to start a residency, I went on a cargo ship from Hamburg, Germany to Santos, Brazil in early February 2017. It took 18 days with two stopovers, one in Antwerp, Belgium and one in Le Havre, France. I chose to travel with Hamburg Süd, one of the oldest German Ship Companies that has been running the German-Brazilian route since 1871.

On the ship I documented the different work of the crew and the spaces with photos and kept a daily diary. After arriving in São Paulo, I produced a short essay-film out of the material I had collected: Stories that were told after work and explanations to many questions that I had asked, pictures from ship details and seafarers and journals from the seafarer`s mission. Its formal structure is a reference to the short film „Der Tag eines unständigen Hafenarbeiters“ (The day of a casual dock worker) from 1966 by the German photographer Leonore Mau and author Hubert Fichte. The artist couple also travelled a lot to Brazil during the late 60s and 70s, in order to document various religious practices such as Candomblé, Umbanda and Tambor de Mina.

In my short film, I focus on the female seafarers that are still underrepresented in the sector of maritime work. The voiceover text is based on a mixture of journalistic reports, talks that I had with the two female seafarers that were on the ship and my own experiences on board.

The woman as a seafarer represents the strongest contraposition to the world of domestic labor and, in this way, to the housewife. Her working space has been formed and dominated by only men since hundreds of years – it is just lately that big shipping companies such as MAERSK and Hamburg Süd start campaigns to recruit female seafarers. Being usually the only woman on board, their physical strength is often tested by their colleagues. The female trainees usually have to prove themselves twice as much as their male fellows.

Working and living in that male dominated world that consists of an approximately 330m extent, the woman is an intruder in, how Foucault described it, a prison-like Heterotopia.[2] The ship has always been a big area of projections and metaphors in the arts as well as in literature. Its secret society of men combined rawness and romanticism. “What happens on a ship, stays on a ship” is a rule that still counts today and feeds even more the imagination by “the others on land”. So, one can say, that the woman intrudes and opens up that imaginary world of a Melvillesque male crew with its own rules. Changing her role from prostitute in the harbours, so explored in seafarer novels and paintings to an effective crewmember.

In the book Caliban and the witch, the Italian feminist activist Silvia Federici points out that the capitalist system as it is dominating and destroying the world today could arise only through the repression of the woman from the paid labor market into the world of domestic unpaid labor.[3] The mill wheel of capitalism is represented by the huge cargoships with thousands of containers which enter the ports every hour. The labor which keeps that wheel running is often forgotten, as Allan Sekula already emphasized in his texts. So, if we combine Federici`s thesis with that of Sekula, the woman`s entrance in the world of seafaring creates a very interesting new role: On the one hand she is directly responsible for capitalist trade and far away from any conservative stereotype of a housewife, on the other hand her labor on board stays as invisible, unacknowledged and often underpaid as the domestic labor.

As a final event of the residency, I presented the essay film in a conversation with Brazilian artist Caio Reisewitz who also travelled by cargo ship from Santos to Rotterdam with the same German ship company in 1989. We exchanged experiences about life on board and observations on how the container trade has developed during the last 30 years. The talk took place end of April 2017 at Pivô.



[1] Hilde Van Gelder: Allan Sekula, Ship of Fools/ The Dockers` Museum, Lisbon, 2015.

[2] Brothels and colonies are two extreme types of heterotopia, and if we think, afterall, that the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea and that, from port to port, from tack to tack,from brothel to brothel, it goes as far as the colonies in search of the most precious treasures they conceal in their gardens, you will understand why the boat has not only been for our civilization, from the

sixteenth century until the present, the great instrument of economic development (I have not been speaking of that today), but has been simultaneously the greatest reserve of the imagination. The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.

Excerpt from: Michel Foulcault,Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias, in Architecture/Mouvement/Continuité, October, 1984; (Des Espaces Autres, March 1967

Translated from the French by Jay Miskowiec), source here:


[3] Silvia Federici: Caliban and the witch, Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. Brooklyn, NY, 2004.


Thiago Barbalho

25 May, 7h43

post-word: pre-history: anti-reason


starting a day’s work at Pivô Research


To arrive at eleven a.m. To press the buzzer, to announce myself, push the now unlocked metal door, close the door, go up the stairs. To be up at the studio at four past eleven. To drop my backpack on the floor, to look around the objects, coloring pens and drawings, to get a mug and go to the coffee area to make coffee.

To wait for the water to boil walking around in circles, lightly kicking the floor, the air, the walls. Maybe listening to music. Maybe not. To whistle. To get the brew the coffee. To take the mug full of coffee to the balcony, to sit on the bench placed against the wall, to cross my legs, to have a sip. To look at what is real. To perceive things with biased eyes, full of inescapable conceptions, but slightly lighter than later on, when many hours of lucidity will have left a trail of tiredness of memories and meanings. To perceive, for the time being, that reality is the formation of layers and events and left over objects. To perceive that reality has no true substance, it’s all layers. Buildings cut out by other buildings, a tree that pushes through two pieces of concrete, staircases, people going down staircases, people going somewhere, pigeons, shops, streets, sidewalks, dogs, clouds. Not to know what will come up in the drawing. To think that working on a drawing consists of picking from the inexistent some shadow of its fluidity and bring it up to existence. Possibly as a modified memory, maybe like a spirit that incorporates and conveys a cryptographic message. To think that drawing is a zone in which any interpretation, unreason, belief and madness can be exercised. To think that in the drawing the imposition of layers of forms and colors brought from the inexistent to the existent can, with a bit of luck, transform itself into impact or, even better, in awe, and the awe, in turn, may serve as a whisper about these forms which didn’t exist but are here now, and if they now exist it’s because they have already existed somewhere. To understand that the drawing is the tale of a trip between worlds. To accept that the gesture of the hand with the coloring pens on the paper is an exercise in which the non-material geometry communicates with our need to see it. To think of the drawing as proof of the materiality of the immaterial. Apparition. Geogliphs. Hieroglyphs. To realize that this images are more powerful than words. To understand, therefore, that although working in a drawing is similar to writing, in that the hand produces something which reveals and amplifies us, the drawing has the advantage of not using words, which are always thirsty for meaning, exhausted from clichés, from ironies, from inescapable ignorances, always eager to make a point and to convince. To think that the drawing extrapolates order. No words would be able to achieve that, as they are inevitably outworn in the moment of being received by the contemporary reader. To accept and celebrate that the drawing has no subject, verb or predicate, and that its frontiers are more subversive and point to the future, when no word will be necessary. And despite that to know that the drawing is a development from written language, whose support we are now about to abandon as obsolete. And this development takes place insofar as words reach their limit and becomes useless. They are a ladder we have climbed and now can be thrown away. To realize that there’s a transformation taking place in language and in the human need to say. That now it’s as if our historical development were a backwards reflexion of itself, a spiral at best, and that soon we’ll abandon the trust in words and their explaining and their relevance, and will again let ourselves be guides by scrawls on the walls, which are today’s caves, by shadows captured by cameras, shapes in space, photographs that erase themselves in seconds, videos that evaporate in twenty-four hours, drawings that get moldy, paints that fade, screens that crumble in terrorist attacks, installations that vanish in an earthquake. To stop. To give thinking a brake. To return to the eye which sees the world from that balcony, to notice that the coffee mug went empty while one was looking at the world from that balcony. To leave the balcony, to walk back into the studio. To know that the web which reaches into the future and brings the traces and colors to the drawing is called not exactly spirit, not exactly dream, not exactly talent, not exactly god, not exactly research, but, before anything else, imagination, a gift without authorship.


*Translation – Chico Guedes

Visual Essays

Denis Rodriguez e Leonardo Remor

05 Apr, 18h30


A Brazilian baker from Belém, a city situated in Para’s Amazonian estuary, names his bakery Bread With Art. What do small-business owners seek with the word “art” on their shop signs? Is it merely the classical commodity fetishism of the goods sold? Is it to justify raising prices to cover high storefront rental costs and overhead? Is it because art is gourmet?

“Value is never based on the inherent property of objects, but on the subject’s judgment of them,” explains Georg Simmel in The Philosophy of Money from 1907. The art system understands this capitalist logic: the value of an object surpasses its economic and exchange value. A symbolic value is attributed to the art object and its creator and equally so to its consumers: the art collector and institutions.

Do the photographs above illustrate some aspect of Brazil? Do they indicate a clue about which is the art’s value outside its own system? Do they reflect only the literality, the trivialization and the neglect of art’s place and the artist’s role in Brazil?

Initiated in 2014 in Bahia, STATE OF THE ART (Brazilian Portuguese title: EM NOME DA ARTE) is an endless collection of photographs made in numerous Brazilian cities and states. The essay presented here is an excerpt from currently over a hundred images. For this first presentation, seven new images will be uploaded every week for four weeks as an unfolding online essay.


Denis Rodriguez and Leonardo Remor

April 2017



*Through artist conversations, collaborations and presentation of works over time, curator and artist Leonardo Remor proposes a shared long-term intermittent residency at Pivô Pesquisa (São Paulo) as part of Não Sou Daqui, Nem Sou De Lá (tr. Neither From Here Nor There), initiated by the artist-run Galería Península in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and funded by FUNARTE. Never alone during the residency, Remor physically and virtually dialogues with invited artists to reflects on the places, potentials and institutionalization of art practices. The photo collection STATE OF THE ART introduces artistic collaborator, interlocutor and co-curator of Galeria Península Denis Rodriguez as the first guest of Remor’s residency.


Visual Essays

Ana Mosquera

15 Mar, 17h20

The Balla(n)d of uniqueness

-Ana Mosquera-


On 2016 as part of a Pivo Pesquisa immersion program in association with Fundación Cisneros I was invited to come to Sao Paulo for two weeks. The program did not have a specific agenda, I was invited to experience São Paulo and stay at the Copan Building, a modernist colossus designed by Oscar Niemeyer on the 60´s, where Pivô is located.

For a few days I could not help wander around the halls of Copan, in search of some form of spatial orientation on this complex megalopolis. My first instinct was to turn to hundreds of Instagram pictures georeferenced as Edificio Copan. The images repeated in large numbers, over and over again, as if repetition was the active principle that created difference on this gigantic loop.

I felt it would be silly to expect these images to reveal the social constitution of this place, but what I did know was that the way in which information was produced was particular compared to similar experiences of analysis I had had in Venezuela. Deleuze mentions on Difference and Repetition, that repetition is mediation and synthesis, in this case the repetition accounted for a synthesis of representation processes, mediation and consumption. I, then, became interested in studying representation as a result of repetition.

I suppose Copan could be, to a new visitor, something absolute and temporary, a place able to duplicate and unfold; immersed in the constant multiplication of its own elements. Nonetheless repetition here was not generality, nor likeness but the confluence between the ideal and the real. At Copan life mimics representation, awaiting to be represented.

At this point I decided to archive all the images I had found on Instagram, at first they seem to fall within three general categories: the rooftop – the facade – the lifestyle; but then again each one of this had particularities which felt under new general categories: the s shape, the Italia building from the rooftop, the half-naked girl on a bed overlooking the city, general constantly became singular by repetition and singular constantly became general again.

Photography as form of representation aspires to conquer difference, to capture the immeasurable, to convey the infinite, but this factor of repetition acted in Copan as is a free agent that diversifies and multiplies it all, while creating patterns and groups that repeat to change and create new singularities.

I decided then to revisit the places most frequently photographed and photographed them again, I then placed, on top of the image I had taken, the image I took as reference from Instagram, each image represents one the categories I found.

As I organized and grouped all the images patterns emerged, it could be because of color similarities or content or angle. This patterns have been displayed as a series of white dots on the images. However, these patterns never remained static, they always mutated and transformed with time, there arose the need to express the idea of time in some way.

For this purpose the patterns were copied on a music sheet to form an auto-playing ballad, the repetition becomes rhythm over time, and similarities are heard as simultaneous groups of notes.