One of the things that really attracted me to the “Portuguese for Foreigners” course I’m taking at the Federal University here in Niteroí (aside from the fact that it cost half as much as private language schools) was their commitment to getting the students out of the classroom to experience the community and use the language in context.
The first of these “external excursions” was yesterday when we took the ferry to Rio to visit the “OSGEMEOS – Vertigem” Exposition at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.
Located in downtown Rio just a stone’s throw from the historic Cinelandia Cathedral is a cultural space opened 20 years ago by the Banco do Brasil. It is a huge former bank building built in the grand old style with inlaid marble floors and a towering lobby – now open to the public with performance spaces, galleries and art classrooms.
The featured exhibition through May 17th highlights the playful and visually powerful graffiti art of Os Gêmos, identical twin brothers from São Paulo – now quite famous.
It was an interactive installation including a room filled with musical instruments available to gallery goers. The surreal and colorful paintings most often spoke of the social realities and conditions from their poor neighborhood in São Paulo. Great stuff.
Check out this video (in English) documenting a recent show in New York City.