Meu canto in Portuguese means my sing and my place, my own place, or where I feel I belong. Taking my own experience as a recent expatriate, feeling divided between belonging to São Paulo and looking for my place in New York, this project becomes a space for all those attracted to the idea of projecting their voices about their places.
Where do you belong? What sensations are involved? Do you have a place to call your own? Is it a room in your home or a complex metropolis? Is your own skin your place? Another person? Is a state of mind your place? A language, a smell, a taste? How to translate this by projecting your voice? Is there a song, a poem, or any text that translates this feeling?
Through an online platform, I have opened an audio playlist with voices that sing, recite, declare how each participating individual stands on these issues. This playlist is a work in progress without a deadline to be completed. I look for an infinite accumulation of voices, without instruments, without effects, without editing but only voices and the background noises from where they are recorded.
Opening: Thursday, October 19, 2017, 6pm to 8pm
October 20 – 10am to 6pm
21 22, Oct 2017 – (12) noon to 6 pm
RU Residency Unlimited
360 Court Street #4
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Publication’s illustration: meu canto, 2017, oil on canvas, 50 cm (diameter)
I invite you to record your voice by singing, speaking, reciting, etc., through whatever device is most convenient to you. Generate an mp3 file and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Names will not be disclosed. The authors of each track will remain anonymous, and you can send as many files as you want, as long as the project is still in progress.
Every day (except weekends and holidays), once a day, I will check the files received and publish them at https://soundcloud.com/meucanto. When this project is on view as part of an exhibition, I will upload the files three times a day, every day.
At each edition of the project, I will publish a zine, printed on newsprint paper, with texts (written by guests and me) and images that deal with the experience of developing this project. This publication is collectible, can be used as a poster, and serves as a form of disclosure.
by Anna Harsanyi
Caetano Veloso’s song “Sampa” is an ode to São Paulo, a city whose streets contain multiple personalities and embrace characters whose unique traits combine to tell a story of admiration and uneasiness in the song’s narrative. As a descriptor of the city, “Sampa” projects a familiar relationship to concepts of home and place. The song tells of enchantment when crossing Ipiranga and São João Avenues paired with the disappointment of urban poverty in the face of economic growth. Such juxtapositions expand beyond the locale of São Paulo and call the listener to reflect on the city as a metaphor for life’s uncomfortable changes, and the natural desire to preserve the familiar. Traditional definitions of home imply comfort and ease associated with a specific place. Despite the constant transformations taking place around us all the time, home becomes a fixed variable in an otherwise ever-changing world. When considered more broadly, and just as Veloso invites us to reflect through his song, home can be a more complex and chaotic concept. Home can be as much related to one place as it can be to its ever-changing and constantly progressing qualities. What if home is comfort in the juxtapositions and the whirlwind of change that exists all around us? Can home be dissociated from a locale, and become instead a feeling of comfort in transition?
Carolina Paz’s work “Meu canto” uses song as a medium to reflect on these questions. Paz invites audiences to sing their own conceptions of home – whether through literally singing a song reminiscent of home, or reciting mundane activities like grocery shopping lists or daily routines. Either way, the act of singing calls to mind anyone’s ability to vocalize a moment of personal connection to varying ideas of comfort and familiarity. Just as Veloso brings us into his world by unveiling the conflicting symbols and metaphors he observes in his home, participants in Paz’s project invite others to listen to the details of personal relationships to their own.
by Alexandre Nix
This is an elusive one. Precious as gold dust and vanishing on a double take. Please don’t do double takes when visiting the premises. To get there you must be prepared with all the tools and equipment – that most people don’t possess or keep. – and here’s the catch: you only can go there when you’re doing your best to get somewhere else. Here are the directions: first you need a safe place to start, a bunch of good companions to join you… and another destination in mind. This is paramount: your bills must be paid and you should have a good sum of money in your bank account just to keep you focused on the journey ahead. Ok. Let’s proceed: you will have to leave by fall – better weather – in possession of a dream that should me dreamed collectively (thus your companions) and in a state of mind that should fluctuate between blissful hope and a constant feeling of achievement. When you hear music by the meandering path that brought you there you should dance while you can… once all is gone, work hard and live joyfully for another couple of years and try it again. Maybe the next time is the one time that you can finally stay.