I have been hanging clothes in huge shafts both inside cities and outside them. I made this work in many cities of Brazil and in France, Germany and Portugal. This idea happened to me after observing a habit of the people who live in Santo Amaro community (Favela), in Recife, Northeast of Brazil. Varal is a natural urban intervention for those people because they don’t have enough space inside their houses (or “barracos”) to dry their clothes. For that reason, they modify the landscape for a very functional reason. Re-using this action giving it gigantic dimensions is the main idea of the work. This increased my plastic interest in social habits and their representations.
Wherever I am doing the work, I locally collect the clothes asking for donations. The people that give me the clothes are also author of the piece, the clothes they donate carry their customs and memories.
I think the work represent a micro social geographic “empowerment” of the favela’s people. They turned the public space into something useful “without meaning” aesthetic when the government doesn’t provide the space they need. The Varal is a metaphor of that social situation because the space is just one of the things that the Brazilian government doesn’t provide and people create their means to access. But the work had other meanings in other country realities, as memories in relational with the clothes for example.
Lourival Cuquinha firstname.lastname@example.org