Tate Liverpool: OPAVIVARÁ!: Utupya
Venue: Tate Liverpool
Dates: 27/04/2018 - 24/06/2018
27 April – 24 June 2018
Sponsored by Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University
Supported by Tate Liverpool Commissioning Circle and the Opavivara! Supporters Group
This spring Tate Liverpool’s top floor gallery will be transformed by Brazilian collective OPAVIVARÁ! into an immersive environment featuring physical and audio-visual installations. The free exhibition is part of the ‘We Have Your Art Gallery’ series which seeks to challenge conventional behaviours in public and gallery spaces by encouraging the visitor to complete the artwork by becoming an active part of its animation and interpretation. For over a decade OPAVIVARÁ!’s work has blurred the lines between public and private space, encouraging people to share ideas, cultures and experiences. This will be their first solo exhibition in the UK.
The exhibition features three playful and interactive installations. In Rede Social the group will create a ‘social network’ in a giant hammock, made by stitching together several individual hammocks. The unstable nature of the giant hammock encourages negotiation and collaboration between visitors as they get in to, and move around within it. Traditional chocalho rattles hanging from the hammock provide a soundtrack. In Pajémirim, the artists invite visitors to come together and share their experiences at a communal tea station. Infusions using medicinal herbs will be freely available encouraging visitors to relax in the gallery space. In the central gallery space OPAVIVARÁ! will fuse ancient Brazilian dance rituals with contemporary sound scapes. Visitors will be invited to create their own compositions by choosing which sounds to play, creating different party atmospheres in an environment of lights, props, sounds and movement.
The exhibition has been created by OPAVIVARÁ! in response to Liverpool’s history of migration and contemporary debates around borders. It was conceived following conversations and consultation between OPAVIVARÁ! and Tate Liverpool’s youth and community groups as well as other community groups in the city. The exhibition expands on the collective’s ongoing project Utupya (a combination of ‘utopia’ and the generic term for the native Brazilian ‘Tupi’ tribes), which conceives environments and situations to reflect positively on the hybrid, mixed nature of contemporary culture.
Founded in Rio de Janeiro in 2005, OPAVIVARÁ! is a collective of artists that responds to urban public spaces, galleries and cultural institutions. They trigger interactions between people by transforming everyday objects into something new and engaging to stimulate more relaxed behaviours and cultural exchange in public spaces. Recent projects include performances at the Guggenheim Museum and Hunter College (New York), Casaplan (Chile), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), HAU2 Berlin (Germany), the European Center for the Arts, Dresden (Germany) and Art Basel (Switzerland). Their work is part of private and public collections, including those of the Guggenheim Museum of New York, the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro.
OPAVIVARÁ! are the latest ‘We Have Your Art Gallery’ project, an annual commission at the gallery centred around socially engaged practice that programmes activities with the public and reimagines what a museum can be. The first commission was Art Gym, devised and delivered by young people, in spring 2016 with Assemble. In 2017 artist Christopher Kline turned the gallery into a community theatre with O.K. – The Musical, reflecting Tate Liverpool’s commitment to having collaborative practice at the core of its programme.