Refuge

2019
São Paolo
archival print/dibond/white frame
2*130-174 cm (tweeluik), (edition 5 + 2 a.p.)

The Refuge tells the story of a high-rise that is no longer there. Deep in the night, on the 2nd of May 2018, The Wilton Paes de Almeida Building started to burn. Ninety minutes later it collapsed. The 85 metre high monumental construction went down within just a few seconds, embraced by fire. Whether that catastrophe was caused by, according to different claims, a gas explosion, a short-circuit in a power extension, or by its owners setting it alight in an attempt to get rid of squatters, the city centre was traumatised. More than 370 people who had occupied the building began camping at the Paissandu Square just a dozen metres away from their former home. The diptych, contrasting the void left by the fire and the busyness of the camp, reflects on how informal settlements develop and relate one to another in São Paulo. In this case, people move from the walls of the Evangelical Lutheran Church to the walls of Our Lady Rosario of Black Men Church, keeping on drifting between different vulnerable and temporary locations.


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