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Marcius Galan _ Matheus Rocha Pitta _ Cinthia Marcelle

[automatically translated]


The São Paulo City Museum is articulated from its architectural collection, a set composed of twelve important buildings distributed throughout the city. They are historic sites, where rural dwellings from the 17th century can be found, old residences located next to the initial landmark of urban occupation in the central region, as well as representative examples of other significant moments in our history and in our development. The MORUMBI, CAXINGUI, BUTANTÃ exhibition is based on the very concept of the City Museum network, spreading across three of its historic sites, connecting them.


The exhibition occupies three units of the Museum: Capela do Morumbi, Casa do Sertanista and Casa do Bandeirante, which respectively receive installations by artists Marcius Galan, Matheus Rocha Pitta and Cinthia Marcelle.

The history of the territory of the three neighborhoods where these spaces are located guides the exhibition. Morumbi, Caxingui and Butantã date back to the presence of the Tupi-Guarani indigenous people in these spaces, which is evident in their nomenclature. Morumbi, from “mero-obi”, which means “very high hill or hill” or “blue-green fly”, or from “mará-obi” which means “place where warriors fight” or “good place for ambush” . The Caxingui, from the “caátinguy”, a species of poisonous plant, or from the “cuaxinguyba”, a plant of the moraceous family, or even a species of stingray. And Butantã, which was spelled over time in the Portuguese language as ibitatá, ybytantan, ubatantã and botantã, has the possible meanings of “hard land”, “rammed earth” or “land of mud”. [1]

The installation by Marcius Galan in the Capela do Morumbi stems from one of the possible origins of the word Morumbi, the Tupi Mará-obi, place of fights, hidden struggle, trap. The artist uses the typology of railings and fences present in the contemporary city to construct his installation. In space, these grids deconstruct to form spears. Defense and protection urban furniture becomes a tool of battle or resistance. These spears, railings, and fences build into structures, scatter, or melt away.


In the baptistery, a small room on the side of the Chapel's central nave, Marcius has two showcases. In one of them, he builds a display of fence tips, with their corresponding reference codes. In the other, empty, the artist reproduces only the labels of an existing showcase at Sítio Morrinhos, another unit of the City Museum, which houses the Archeology Center of São Paulo, where splinters, splinters and a spearhead are on display. These are artifacts from the Morumbi Lithic Site, one of the main archaeological sites in São Paulo, which pointed to the occupation of the city between 5000 or 6000 years ago, which ended up being in the hands of three large developers, and was damaged in 2006.


Marcius's empty showcase in the Chapel points to the erasure of history, is based on the battle against the concealment of the city's stories, in the lapse between the pre-colonial São Paulo of the indigenous occupation, and the contemporary São Paulo, of the great walls and railings.




Already in the colonial period, the region that encompasses the three neighborhoods was one of the passage routes for pioneers and Jesuits who were heading to the interior of Brazilian territory. This is the context of Casas do Sertanista and Casas do Bandeirante, constructions from the 17th and 18th centuries, mapped by the efforts of the São Paulo Department of the National and Artistic Heritage Service (SPHAN), the embryo of the current IPHAN, at the time composed of director Mário de Andrade, the technical assistant, who was the architect Lucio Costa, and the photographer Hermann Hugo Graeser. The restoration of these properties took place in the context of the celebrations of the 4th centenary of the City of São Paulo, and represented the will of the modernists “to link the colonial architectural past to the new architectural aesthetics, ignoring almost two centuries – the intermediate period, of 'disarray', in Lucio's words, between Baroque and modernism”. [2]


In Ownership Repossession, Matheus Rocha Pitta occupies the central room of Casa do Sertanista; the other rooms were emptied. In it, rammed earth solids, the same technique used in the construction of the House, occupy the center of the room. Such blocks were modeled from the volume of furniture and appliances, which are now chained around earth elements, as if expelled from their place.


At the same time, these chained elements seem to surround and protect these solids, evidencing their collapse and the loss of function and figure, to become form. They stand in the center of the room, in shadows, with a ceremonial air, somewhere between sacred and profane, even if surrounded by these domestic utensils.


The earth regains possession of the space, but paradoxically it is the memory of the elements that previously occupied it. This operation opens up possible uses and histories of space: historical uncertainty takes on modern forms, shuffling the coordinates of contemporary life and the colonial past.

Photos: Everton Ballardin

Mará-obi | installation by Marcius Galan at Capela do Morumbi




In the 1920s, the first neighborhoods in the region began to emerge; in the 1930s, others such as Caxingui appeared and, in the 1940s, Morumbi was transformed into a residential area, with the occupation of the former Morumbi Farm, one of the pioneers in the cultivation of black tea in São Paulo. Since 1949, Companhia Imobiliária Morumby has been responsible for selling lots around the former headquarters of the complex and the ruins close to it, as well as inviting the architect Gregori Warchavchik to create a building that would interpret and complete the 17th century ruins present on the land, to draw attention to the sale of lots, creating the Capela do Morumbi. But the occupation of the region that encompasses the three neighborhoods began mainly from 1900 onwards, driven mainly by the implementation of the Butantã Institute and, later, the São Paulo City University (USP), next to Casa do Bandeirante.


Cinthia Marcelle's "The Family in Disorder" reacts to the architectural properties of Casa do Bandeirante by creating two structures that appropriate the mirroring of the House's plan, also producing a mirrored image of order and chaos. Each space begins the process lined with a carpet that counteracts this mirroring, and makes the plants equal. In each room a barrier is built, with an identical amount and variety of materials, both natural and industrial, including stone, brick, chalk, and earth.


The artist works collectively with artists and education professionals from São Paulo City Museum staff for a week to destabilize and potentially destroy or rebuild one of the structures. The visual result of this process remains unknown until the exhibition opens to the public. Neither the artist nor the institution is aware of the disorder produced by the invited group until the opening of the exhibition.


In the end, each isolated side of Casa do Bandeirante presents the same amount of materials. On one side ordered by the artist, on the other reconfigured by the participating team. The Family in Disorder is thus configured as a process of shared creation, discussing limits and freedom, coexistence and resistance, order and chaos, pre-established standards.

Photos: Everton Ballardin

Ownership Repossession | installation by Matheus Rocha Pitta at Casa do Sertanista




MORUMBI, CAXINGUI, BUTANTÃ is not just a strategy of occupation and dialogue with the respective historical spaces. It expands the territorial and architectural discussion, to dialogue with the initial formation of the city, even before the spaces it occupies, and mainly, it connects the history of the city with living in the contemporary city.



Douglas de Freitas



[1] Ponciano, Levino. São Paulo: 450 bairros, 450 anos. São Paulo, SP: Senac, 2004.

[2] Mayumi, Lia. Taipa, canela-preta e concreto. Estudo sobre o restauro de casas bandeiristas. São Paulo, SP: Romano Guerra Editora, 2008, p. 29.

Photos: Everton Ballardin

The Family in Disorder | installation by Cinthia Marcelle at Casa do Bandeirante

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