Helô Sanvoy and Alice Lara, the first participants in the project. PHOTO: Marcos Ferraz

With the exception of the opening days of exhibitions – with the popular vernissages – art galleries are usually not very frequented places. In everyday life, in which rare visitors enter the spaces, a certain coldness and aridity predominate in the environment. It was taking this into account, with the desire to bring more life and productivity to her gallery, that Andrea Rehder conceived the Rizoma project for this year 2019.

The idea is simple: to invite young artists to occupy, with different types of activities, the two rooms on the second floor of the establishment, located in the upscale neighborhood of Jardim América, in São Paulo. Previously used to store collections or as exhibition areas, the rooms have been, since mid-March, functioning as a kind of studio and research space for guest artists. In fact, they can use the rooms “as they see fit”, says Rehder, including to promote conversations, debates, artistic exchanges with third parties, etc.

Helô Sanvoy in the room he occupied in the gallery. PHOTO: Marcos Ferraz

“There is a high cost of renting the house here, in a great place in the city, and very little use. And there are so many people in need of space, wanting to make and exhibit projects… Why leave this two-story house standing still?”, asks the gallery owner. The idea is that each guest spends a month with a room available. Artists are given a gallery key and can come and go at any time.

The first to participate was Helô Sanvoy, from Goiás, one of the few participants in the project that is already represented by the gallery. He was even the one who helped to think of the name Rizoma, based on the proposal that artists use the project to create roots, dialogues and links with each other and with the gallery. Fifteen days after Sanvoy, the painter from Brasilia, Alice Lara, occupied the next room, starting a rotation of dates that allows each artist to live with at least two others during their month of stay.

At the end of their “occupation” period, each artist still helps with the transition and handing over the room to the next participant, in addition to performing a open studio – with conversations and presentation of works. The next names already confirmed are Sandra Lapage, Carlos Pileggi, Virgílio Neto, Betina Vaz and Ju Freire. The cycle should continue at least until the end of the year.

Alice Lara with her work objects in the gallery. PHOTO: Marcos Ferraz

Rehder is keen to point out that this is not an artist residency project, as there are no rigid processes for selecting participants, curating or funding the works. “It's a very free, experimental thing, where the artists themselves can suggest the participation of others, they can talk to me about their material needs and so on. If they want, they can also choose to sell the works, but the purpose of the project is not to be commercial.”

Rehder also highlights a concern to intersperse artists of different genres, “stimulating a plurality and equality that I myself sometimes did not pay attention to during my career as a gallery owner”, and to encourage critical thinking about what is produced there. In the short time that Rizoma has been in operation, according to her, young curators have already emerged willing to write about the works of artists, such as Isabella de Souza and Raquel Vallego.

 

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