Cena #1 Brazil 2016



April – July 2016 SESC PINHEIROS / Sao Paulo

Artists invited Antony Gormley (UK) / Antti MAkella (Finland) / Bia Lessa (Brazil) / Cris Bierrenbach (Brazil) / Dries Verhoeven ( The Netherlands ) / Emma Ransley (NewZeland)/ Gavin Krastin (South Afrika) / Giulia Pecorari (Italy) / Ian Evans (UK)/ Laura Vinci (Brazil)/ Liu Xinglin ( China) / Marina Reis ( Brazil) / Peter Mumford (UK) / Richard Downing (UK)/ Valéria Martins (Brazil) / Theo Jansen ( The Netherlands )

Cena #1 is a way of telling stories with scenic elements rather than words; stories where life emanates from seemingly inert elements, fleeting images, sounds, colors, light, motion. It embodies the fertile field of artistic expression that arises at the intersection of theatre, installation and performance. A project born from the desire to create, through scenic designs, a living place, a rich field of experience where, images and compositions are not just bodies for contemplation, but define a place, drawing the space in scenic compositions as a big stage shared by actions and gatherings of images of various expressions of scenic design cohabiting and in dialogue.

A performative space is created to be inhabited by different narratives, in which the visitors will have the opportunity to take their own journey. It aims that, from the audience’s interaction  and their own repertoire, stories will come through, with all of its themes – love, death, fear, achievement, reality, illusion. On this live stage, the scenic design is presented to be experienced by everyone, regardless of language, culture, origin. Highlighting the work of a select group of 16 visual artists, set , costume  lighting, sound designers and performers from 8 countries and 5 continents, where they are individually recognised and respected for their artistic and professional works.


Cena #1 presents a unique performance emerging from the encounter of this group of artists that was daily presented and performed for three months. It represents a turning point, a conclusion of a cycle, following to the start of another journey. A drawing as a gesture, making a helical movement upward or inward but never to return or stagnate.

The exhibition  reunites works that pull away from the scenic design in the conception of an installation or performance to become performative in their own being.Creations by artists who promote breaks in the boundaries of languages, proving to be an inspiration in fighting against stagnation and repetition. The works are presented on two forms of narrative:
Installations are constantly activated or self-activated, momentary or perpetual, sometimes evolving to performance. As the acts of a play, they set the pace of action on this big stage.
Archives, in turn, present the repertoire of artists like lines of a non-existent text, memory records or artefacts transposed from other stages. It also invites exploration of the material of the objects  in cabinets of curiosities or  transformed into installations.

Beyond the artists exhibiting, this project also received invaluable contributions from Pamela Howard OBE, author of What is Scenography, and Markéta Fantová, artistic director of  Prague Quadrennial 2019, who happily shared their views on the practice of designing for performance today in this catalogue.


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