artist and architect pedro varella has created an installation that rests on the sands of rio de janeiro’s famous copacabana beach. the piece, titled ‘the beach and the time’, is organized by two combined operations: demarcating and repositioning. the first involves the insertion of a large 31 x 31 meter (102 x 102 ft) and 50 centimeter (1.6 ft) high quadrilateral structure. this not only demarcates the scheme, but also serves as a multi-functional platform for the public to engage with. the second operation occurs from the movement of the site’s existing matter: sand and water. varella re-positioned these two elements to create a new topographic landscape.

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim (also main image)

 

 

the project formed part of rio de janeiro’s tempo festival, which took place in october 2018. as part of the event, the installation hosted a performance by french choreographer julie desprairies. the artwork was designed to evolve over the course of the festival with the public encouraged to interact with the altered landscape. ‘the beach is the place of leisure, work, meetings, sexuality, repression, sleeping, playing, the place of the sun and much more,’ says varella, who is a founder of rio de janeiro-based firm gru.a arquitetos.

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image by rafael salim

 

 

‘the crossing of footprints confuses ourselves, indicates multiple possibilities, hypotheses that occupy the imaginary and defy the possibility of prediction,’ varella continues. ‘as the day goes on, so does the wind and the tide so that, at dawn, the territory becomes available again, always open to what will come. the beach makes you think about time, about a way of being and not being.’ both pedro varella and julie desprairies are participating in the french institute of brazil’s artistic residency program, which took place in 2018 during the festival and is scheduled to continue in france in 2019.

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by rafael salim

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by elisa mendes

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by elisa mendes

pedro varella's copacabana beach installation results in a new topographic landscape
image by elisa mendes

 

 

project info:

 

name: a praia e o tempo / the beach and the time
architect: gru.a (grupo de arquitetos)
location: copacabana, rio de janeiro, brazil
conception: pedro varella
performance: julie desprairies
development of the project: gru.a (grupo de arquitetos) — pedro varella, caio calafate, andré cavendish, júlia carreiro, and isadora tebaldi

engineering consultant: rodrigo affonso
realization: tempo_festival and instituto francês do brasil

sponsor: oi – secretaria de estado de cultura do rio de janeiro – governo do rio de janeiro – lei estadual de incentivo à cultura

support: secretaria municipal de cultura – prefeitura da cidade do rio de janeiro
photography: elisa mendes, rafael salim