[A gallery exchange with A Gentil Carioca from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil]
A Gentil Carioca is a spot and a vibration. It happens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: a kind of decadent city in the short time of Brazil history, a place full of contrast, where its particular geography generates a singular urbanism, full of mountains, and lakes, surrounded by the sea and Guanabara bay, the city has grown like the water in a river, it grows where it is physically possible, the civilization is the water of buildings limited by the geographic accidents. Together with a very bad public transportation, generated by elitistic politics post slavery, that wanted to put the poor people far away from the city, it generated a special situation that no where in the world the poor and the rich came to live so close to each other, every where in the third world you have the slums ( favelas ) but nowhere it is so much inside of the city, every mountain, sea or lake border that in not occupied by the official civilization, there is a community… interesting swing and chaos, the law in Brazil is a bit informal, the outline between the figure and the background is not clear, is diffuse, there is always a possibility to say – come on Mister cup, today is Sunday! That’s not really a problem! This law is stupid, don’t you think? Or something like that: come on, let’s make a deal!
In the middle of this musical decadence the art scene was boring in the last few years, and the scene was all looking to São Paulo, and, I don’t know exactly how came out this idea of opening a place for the art, for making art, showing art, vibrating art, A Gentil Carioca happens at the border of S.A.A.R.A, a place in the border of downtown Rio, where a fascinating complex of two store little buildings from the beginning of XX century, a net of something like 5 by 9 streets where we have a kind of open air popular market, something like a Canal street, where you can find a lot of material and clothes, party stuff, plus a lot of everything, nowadays made in china, in fact a lot of matter a commerce of old Arabian, Jewish people and some Chinese and Korean, now.
At Gentil Carioca we let the art happen, showing young artists, or even older artists who do fantastic work on the institutional surroundings but have no spot on formal galleries; there are day and week events, performances, and every thing that comes out. It’s a meeting point, a gallery, a political tool. It happens socially and geographically in the border of the art context in Rio, which is also a political position or a more comfortable to be, regarding the context we live, it’s an open position to connect people from different backgrounds, beyond this local political debate, we show artists from many different places of Brazil and some people from out side the country. A Gentil is directed by three artists Laura Lima, Marcio Botner and Ernesto Neto, it is not our soul connected but it is something else in between it, plus the soul of the artists, and beyond all of it the soul of the audience, Gentil came to connect a lot of people and these people, in a way, generates the program of Gentil, it’s not a marketing idea, we don’t make the program to let them happy and we don’t know what the audience wants, particularly we dance about what we want, but abstractly we dance together with the audience that makes the party vibration during the openings, that is the oxygen of our Land, Gentil is an attracting point for the lost people that comes in and out, where the art is the smell that keeps us on vibration.