Photoautotrophics

2017

A site specific and interactive installation exhibited at the catacombs of the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo that was closed to the public for more than fifty years during the exhibition RedScream. Made by the Iscream project in partnership with the theatre, Storymakers (event agency) Campari (spirits brand) and Club Vegas (night life entrepreneur). The show was a multi-faced ten days event celebrating the reopening of the space with exhibition, performance art and live music. The idea for the installation came from the way that the whole building was constructed: a mortar that was part seashells, part whale blubber oil and part sand. Visitors were encouraged to enter the box, close the door and be immersed inside a beautiful coral coffin. Since I was the Exhibition Director of the Iscream Project, I was present during all events; my most interesting observation was peoples' expressions when they realized that they had damaged the art-work by stumbling or hitting the corals with their bodies, accessories or drinks. Every single sculpture was only attached to the box with hot glue. To "record" those reactions, every day before the exhibition opened, I fixed all of the pieces that had fallen out and lingered around the piece waiting. Each person would come out from the box pretending nothing had happened, ashamed or looking for someone that could fix what they broke. This gave me an inside perspective on how people behave when destroying a piece of art that represents an ecosystem that is in peril.

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Photoautotrophics plants are able to generate their own food through photosynthesis like the zooxanthellae: a micro algae that lives inside the corals tissue giving it the majority of its food and its color. Due to extensive periods of high temperatures on our oceans, these algae becomes stressed with the heat. So instead  of making sugars, they make toxins - poisoning the corals. The coral in turn kicks out the algae from their tissues and loose their color, revealing their white calcium based skeleton. Which is what happens when corals bleach. 

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Here is a teaser made by Iscream project for the Exhibition and the night events:

And the video made by the agency to talk about how the project came to life

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