Tearing down the wall

Daniële Marx about the the physical and mental wall of Porto Alegre

Curator Daniele Marx shows works from Brazilian artists in her pavilion in the Amsterdam Biennale, that opens the 14th of November.


Daniele Marx in her pavilion - The Porto Alegre Pavilion, curator: Daniele Marx. Nov 14 - Jan 3 2009/10, in the Amsterdam Biennale at Mediamatic. Raphael Rehbach

With: daniele marx

Daniele Marx is painting on the wall of her cardboard cube, which is covered with holes. The space around them she makes yellow, as if sunbeams penetrate her pavilion. The city where she comes from, Porto Alegre, is a nice town in the South of Brazil. Marx' pavilion is about invisibility, because the city is quite unknown to Western people.

Daniele Marx: 'Porto Alegre is a huge city of 1,5 million people, but few people know of it. But there a lot of interesting things happening there. For example the World Social Forum, that was held in 2001, and returns to the city this year. Thousands of people come together to think about an alternative for the economic model. Porto Alegre also hosts the Mercosur Biennale, one of the biggest biennales of South America.'

Are there any other reasons why you made this pavilion about the failures of visibility?
Porto Alegre has a big wall to protect the city against the water from the Guaiba Lake. It is a hidden city. On the other hand Europeans have a certain image of Brazil, with palm trees and white beaches. But nobody gets the real image. That's what the pavilion is about. You're looking for something that you cannot see very well. I asked 9 artists to send proposals for this idea. By instruction I show the works from other artists. The violet wall-painting for example is from Travel-guide Marcos Sari. The trees in Porto Alegre have many violet flowers.'

We go into her pavilion, where some pictures are already hanging on the walls. Is it difficult to realize the works of other people?
'In the beginning I was worried to make decisions for everybody, but now I really enjoy playing with their ideas. For me it is also a creative process to arrange the artworks together in a nice and interesting way.' She shows picture postcards from Porto Alegre, little bags with seeds, and a ironic banner with the text "Brazil, land of the future".

Daniele Marx currently lives and works in Amsterdam and studies Fine Art in Den Bosch after having been a architect for several years in Brazil. In the Netherlands she wants to enlarge her creative network and to get a degree that gives her the possibility to teach in her native country. The circumstances for artists here are much better than in Brazil. But she also learned to look at her country in a new way. 'When I lived in Porto Alegre I looked for European influences, but since I am living in Europe I am more focused on the culture of Brazil.'

Porto Alegre's pavilion opens Saturday 14 November 8 p.m., in the Amsterdam Biennale 2009 at Mediamatic.