Ar Livre, Arte Livre: Art, Ecology, and the Commons #2

Public Art Commissions

September 15 - 17 2023

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ar Livre, Art Livre – Art, Ecology, and the Commons aims to promote a program of open-air actions and interventions, with artistic and educational propositions that seek to reconsider the boundaries between art and everyday life, artist and audience, in order to discuss issues at the intersections of art, nature, and education, and to bring cultural institutions closer to the streets, parks, and squares of Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro has been chosen as the location to host the second edition of this project, not only because it has the world’s largest urban forest – a stark contrast to the context of Beirut – but also due to its history of urban occupation, particularly the massive land reclamation project that took place along the Rio de Janeiro coastline in the mid-20th century, giving birth to Flamengo Park.

This ambitious construction involved demolishing an entire hill in the heart of Rio de Janeiro to create expressways connecting the city center to the upscale neighborhoods of the southern zone, including Copacabana and Ipanema. A suggestion by architect and urban planner Carlota de Macedo Soares (Lota) was crucial in ensuring that half of the area in this modernist project, centered around the “car culture,” would be transformed into one of the largest urban parks in the world. She was responsible for assembling a team of architects, urban planners, and engineers, as well as experts in education and recreation, including Burle Marx, to create an occupation proposal that took into account the potential of this area to foster a sense of community, with a focus on art, ecology, and education.

The Flamengo Park is the chosen urban location for this cultural project, which intends to bring together contemporary art practices and educational activities, thus creating new connections between the city, nature, and the environment based on the commons. The commons refer to things that all people can access. From water to free software, from leisure to pleasure, the notion of the commons arises from collective practices that point towards more autonomous forms of organization in society and in the pursuit of knowledge sharing.

The project will last for three days, from September 15th to 17th, 2023, featuring three invited interventions and one selected through this public call. It aims to connect the diverse audiences of Rio de Janeiro through artworks and programs of mediation and popular participation. It will also be a tribute to Lota Macedo, who fought so hard to leave us this legacy, even though her name often does not receive the same prominence or is not commonly associated with the park.

This project is the second edition of the Art, Ecology, and the Commons program, which started in 2021 in Beirut, Lebanon. Conceived by TAP (Temporary Art Platform), the project is being carried out within the framework of the Franco-German cooperation #JuntesnaCultura, between the Goethe-Institut and the Consulate of France in Rio de Janeiro, with production by Jurubeba Produções.


#UrbanArts #Environment #Ecology #ArtisticIntervention