29 maj 2002
THE RED TENT by Cristiana de Melo
A fragile point of tension one afternoon on the streets of Copenhagen,
as part of The Contemplation Room Project.
Text by Cristiana de Melo and Sophie Pucill.
London based Brazilian artist and curator Cristiana de Melo articulates
a red art piece in the streets of Copenhagen as part of the Contemplation
Room Project exhibition.
On Wednesday the 29th of May at four o’clock in the afternoon,
just as people begin to start coming home from work, artist Christiana
De Melo performed her work The Red Tent on the pavement of Baldersgade
70 in Copenhagen.
The red tent contemplation room is a fragile structure where the artist,
transformed by a red cloth, performs ritualistic actions based on
research in to the understanding of female energy / roles in Western
Culture. A central strategy is transforming the audience into becoming
participants, and hereby the audience into becoming the art.
Wrapped in red cloth she offered to wash peoples feet, just outside
the entrance of the red tent. The public could sit in a chair, have
their shoes and socks removed by this young woman kneeling on the
ground and have their naked feet bathed in warm water from a metal
bucket; the water poured over the feet using a cup, the water falling
down and splashing against the pavement. The artist gently rubbing
the feet with her hands.
After this the feet were dried carefully and meticulously, with very
clean and very white individual pieces of white cotton cloth. Then
the socks and shoes were put back on.
With this rather intimate, slightly disturbing, gently serious and
very refreshing ritual, the people with clean and fresh feet could
finally enter the red tent. Here, inside all the red, there was a
red candle a light, and a bowl of chewy roasted seeds on the once
pavement now tent floor. A place to contemplate, and meet people.
As people had there feet washed and entered The Red Tent, the space
inside became filled up with the people from the outside. Inside the
red space everything was coloured red, and it was really very beautiful.
Christiana de Melo’s selected exhibitions include a solo show at The
London Bienalle 2000 (The Game – D.I.Y, Artists Gallery, London).
She has also successfully curated shows in Europe and Latin America
(The Translatino Highway, the Latin Program of The London Bianallo
2000, 291 Gallery London, and Rio Trajetorias, a quasi biennalle with
104 artists from all over the world exhibiting all over Rio de Janero
in November 2001.
The next Red Tent, a chance to contemplate red in the streets of Copenhagen
will be on Wednesday the 5th of June at 16:00, in Prinsessegade, in
front of Christianias old entrance, next to the Frihedsgudinde. See
Tekst fra www.kopenhagen.dks