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Places of Fiction and Fictions of Place

Places of Fiction, fictions of Place

This solo exhibition features new work made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The title alludes to the role of fiction in the construction of national identity and place-making.
I was drawn to the topographic character of the city and how it’s steep mountains created a region of smaller cities, different territories and social geographies within the mountainous landscape. 'Cordiality' the large cut out piece, refers to the relational geography of the city. The roads of Rio de Janeiro are extracted and cut around the space in between subtracted showing the flow in the megapolis. The title ‘cordiality’ refers to the writings of Sergio Buarque de Hollanda and his critique of the friendly nature of the Brazilian man, both positive and negative aspects, sometimes leading to unsavory trends and how it may be ingrained in the psyche of a region.
'Hy-Brasil' formed part of the exhibition which sought to draw comparisons between Brazil and the mystery island off the coast of Ireland in the Atlantic. The mysterious nature of this island and how it was thought to be visible just one day a year led me to question the constant search for utopic societies even in 1325 when the island began to appear in old maps. As a metaphor, Hy-Brasil, the island paradise is realised in physical form as a symbol of the imaginable yet intangible destination. The exhibition also features a video and photo documentation of the intervention ‘The Noble Island’ undertaken in Rio de Janeiro.

Photography credits:
Peter O'Neil
Fabiano Cafure