The incongruences of São Paulo’s built environment are interpreted and accentuated through a practice of decontextualization, isolation, superimposition, sectioning, change of scale, deformation, displacement of the city’s fragments, in Miniatura’s drawings, illustrations and collages. Quoting Vanessa Grossman in her presentation of Miniatura at GSAPP:
Like in All Fires the Fire, in which every “figure” proposed by the Argentinian writer Julio Cortazár relates to each other in different spaces and temporalities – Cuba, Paris, Buenos Aires, a Greek island, Ancient Rome, Beirut – from which they can exit and enter, Miniatura searches analogous relations not in fiction but in the incongruous reality, reminding us that the latter often surpasses the architect’s imagination. No need to paint the dream and escape through a crack in the wall, as in the miniaturized world evoked by Bachelard: the sheer absurdity of the streets is still the largest source of freedom for the voluntary prisoners of architecture.
From Gaston Bachelard, “The miniature” in Poetics of Space (an excerpt that the duo choose as an introduction for their joint project):
A prisoner paints a landscape on the wall of his cell showing a miniature train entering a tunnel. When his jailers come to get him, he asks them “politely to wait a moment, to allow me to verify something in the little train in my picture. As usual, they started to laugh, because they considered me to be weak-minded. I made myself very tiny, entered into my picture and climbed into the little train, which started moving, then disap-peared into the darkness of the tunnel. For a few seconds longer, a bit of flaky smoke could be seen coming out of the darkness of the round hole. Then this smoke blew away, and with it the picture, and with the picture, my person…” How many times poet-painters, in their prisons, have broken throu-gh walls, by way of a tunnel! How many times, as they pain-ted their dreams, they have escaped through a crack in the wall! …If need be, mere absurdity can be a source of freedom.
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All images: © Miniatura