The exhibition “Luz no Brasil”, by the Belgian artist Françoise Schein, marked the reopening yesterday (26) of the Paço Imperial in Rio de Janeiro. It also celebrates Françoise’s 20 years in Brazil, where he has public works on human rights. The exhibition will remain open until April 25, with free admission.
You earn little, but would like to start saving money and investing? Learn from EXAME Academy
This is the first time that the artist has a retrospective of her work in the capital of Rio de Janeiro, where she adopted her daughter Lohana as a girl, when she sold chewing gum on the street and slept in a city tunnel. Today, Lohana is a 28 year old girl, lives in Paris, has a degree in communication and marketing and is a graduate student in the production of cultural events. To maintain ties with her biological family, Lohana comes to Rio once a year with her adoptive mother.
The exhibition was created jointly by Françoise and her daughter, who is also the curator of the show, and mixes in the works exposed the personal experience of the artist and her educational actions in the country, where she founded the Associação Registrire Brasil. The organization is an arm of the institution created in 1997 in France and aims to “inscribe human rights in cities around the world.” At Registrire Brasil, Françoise has a team that monitors all phases of the project. It is made up of professionals from different areas , the team includes the architect Rita Anderaos and the pedagogue Moema Quintanilha.The Associação Registrire develops artistic and educational works on four continents.
Lohana Schein told Agência Brasil that the exhibition Luz no Brasil traces the trajectory of Françoise and the Enlist Association in Europe, the United States and Brazil and presents a conclusion of what has been done in these 20 years. “Françoise’s works mix art, history, pedagogy, urbanism. They have a lot to do with culture and human rights ”. When Françoise came to Brazil to adopt Lohana, she discovered the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and other places in the country, and created projects with characteristics of these places, to which she added her personal experience and references to adoption.
The show was conceived a year and a half ago by Françoise and Lohana, taking into account the architecture of the Paço Imperial, with four well-defined spaces. Human rights are the guiding thread of the exhibition. At the entrance, or first space, the public will see drawings of children made from a map of human rights and the projects carried out by the artist. The second room, called Awareness, tells of the awareness process that Françoise had in Brazil when she discovered the needy communities and culture and set up the Associação Registrire.
In the third room, “following the story and the chronology, she started putting together a pedagogy about how to create with children about human rights. In this part, there are pictures of the communities where Françoise and the association worked, the schools, the participants, to really understand the territorial impact that the Associação Registrire and Françoise had in Rio and Brazil ”, said Lohana.
The fourth space, called Patrimônio, talks about the objectives of the association and Françoise’s projects to create a human, urban and historical heritage in the cities. “In other words, as her works are all installed on the walls and walls of cities, they are an urban heritage accessible to everyone. It is a way of offering culture and art to all people, without distinction ”, explained Lohana Schein.
The name of the exhibition was inspired by São Paulo’s Estação da Luz, where Françoise made her first artistic and pedagogical intervention on human rights at a subway station in the country. The work took ten years to complete. The 16 panels at Estação da Luz also tell the story of São Paulo, through figurative drawings created by the artist and panels painted by 3,000 students from schools on the outskirts of the city.
For Françoise Schein, the subway is the most democratic place in cities, because it is open to all. “The price is the same for everyone and it is the way the city works. It is in this way that the greatest democratization of art is made ”, commented Lohana.
The most important work was done by Françoise at the Concorde station on the Paris metro, on the French revolution (1989-90), followed by Saint Gilles, in Brussels (1992), on human rights and European borders; Parque, in Lisbon (1994), on human rights and Portuguese discoveries around the world in the Middle Ages; Universitetet, Stockholm (1998), addressing human rights and global environmental issues; and Westhafen, in Berlin (2000), on human rights and migration issues. She also created The Garden of Human Rights, at Rhododendrons Park, in Bremen (2001); the facade of the Jewish-Arab Cultural Center, in Haifa, Israel (1993); and the façade of the municipal theater in Ramallah, Palestine, entitled “A city as a tree for human rights” (2009).
The creation process is always done with the participation of students, youth and children from less favored communities. Through their involvement in the creation of the artistic work, students learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, supported by educational work, they are encouraged to think about the subject and to relate it to their life.
The first works done by Françoise in Brazil are in the Vidigal community, south of Rio de Janeiro. The best known in the capital of Rio de Janeiro is at the Siqueira Campos subway station in Copacabana, and features a 200 square meter map of the region with human rights letters and images of the history of slavery. The bond between Françoise, her adopted daughter and the young woman’s biological family is present in the figure of Lohana’s grandmother, Dona Irene, who strolls along the Copacabana boardwalk.
In addition to these and the Estação da Luz project in São Paulo, Françoise created the work for the Galeria dos Estados subway station in Brasília, which was commissioned by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It consists of a large panel of 110 square meters, made with the participation of 1,000 young people from the Federal District, in which large blue and green balloons announce issues of world ecology.
The path taken by Françoise and Associação Registrire can be seen in more than 20 public participatory facilities located in needy communities on the outskirts of Rio, which are part of the project “Enroll Human Rights in 1001 schools”. Since 2000, starting in Rio de Janeiro and going to several countries in the world, such as Belgium, France, Israel, Palestine, Germany, England, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Haiti, she created the project that is constantly growing called “Writing Human Rights in schools and city walls ”.
“The work we are doing, slowly but surely, in Brazilian schools and in other parts of the world is the alphabet of life skills and must be the first thing to be taught to the billions of young students from around the world”, said Françoise Schein. And he asked if, for this, it will not be in a playful way, creating works of art for the pleasure of beauty for all and for all, the best way to do it.
Lohana Schein said that due to the new coronavirus pandemic, exposure will not be a total immersive experience in her mother’s work. There will be no workshops for public participation, and people will not be able to draw on the ceramic wall where the exhibition ends with the phrase “And now?”.
Only the monitors will draw what the public wants to interpret there about human rights and say what it would be necessary to add today to the articles of the Declaration of Human Rights, approved on December 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. “Visitors will not be able to touch anything in the exhibition because of the covid,” he said. Lohana clarified that all issues of citizenship, social inclusion and culture are challenges for Associação Registrire.
According to the curator, the exhibition catalog is a passport to democracy and an access to art. “It is important to communicate to people our rights and also their duties, in order to lead communities to a more just life”. Lohana pointed out that the exhibition reinforces knowledge of human rights, hope for the future and in a more democratic Brazil, which offers people more access to these rights.
Luz no Brasil is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, the Special Secretariat for Culture and Caixa Seguradora, with support from the Consulate General of France, Artmyn and Gigascope.
Françoise Schein was born in Belgium in 1953. He studied urban design at Columbia University in New York and architecture in Brussels. He also studied art with Robert Morris, at NYU University. It develops large-scale urban works on an international level in Europe, the United States, South America and the Middle East.
For 30 years, Françoise has devoted much of her work to the dissemination of human rights in schools and underprivileged neighborhoods. In 1997, she founded the non-governmental organization (NGO) Associação Registrire, dedicated to the dissemination of the concepts of citizenship and human rights through innovative participatory works.
All of Françoise’s works in the cities where he worked became local landmarks, contemporary monuments. Françoise believes in the structural link between delicacy, kindness and beauty. He created a very humane methodology for the pedagogical production of his works, involving the participation of people from different social classes.
Its artistic methodology frequently involves ceramics, which is easy to use and has great longevity. It is in the subway stations of the cities, in the parks and on the walls that she shows the 1948 text of human rights, interspersed with images, philosophical and literary texts and cartographies of local culture and history, produced with the active participation of people from the community. .