INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Daily Mail SEPTEMBER 5, 2012 - by Chris Leadbeater
COPACABANA CULTURE: NEXT OLYMPIC CITY RIO LURES VISITORS WITH STRIKING NEW ART PROJECT
As London extends its summer of sport by hosting the Paralympic Games, its successor on the international podium is relaxing into its role as the next Olympic city, showcasing its landmarks and dramatic setting via a new, forward-thinking art project.
Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Games in what is sure to be a gloriously noisy version of "the greatest show on earth". But for the next few weeks, tourists will be able to enjoy a more artistic side to Brazil's most famous metropolis.
Launched this week, the OiR project (Other Ideas for Rio) sees a line-up of artists from around the world using the city as a giant canvas.
Six separate art creations are being slotted into place in different areas of the conurbation - of which the most striking is perhaps the huge sculpture that has appeared at - and indeed, within - Guanabara Bay.
Perched just off the shore, this pale head, twelve metres tall, adds a ghostly presence to the city's familiar skyline, with Sugar Loaf Mountain visible behind.
Titled Awilda, the sculpture is the work of the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.
Other names taking part in the project include the British musician Brian Eno, whose audiovisual installation 77 Million Paintings - an impressive combination of light, colour and sound - will be projected onto the city's Arcos da Lapa aqueduct.
Elsewhere, a large glass maze - produced by the American minimalist artist Robert Morris - will appear in the city's central Cinelandia square.
Other parts of Rio to receive a quick cultural makeover will be the Zona Portuaria (the harbor area), Arpoador - an affluent pocket that sits between Copacabana and Ipanema - and the northerly district of Madureira.
The project's curator hopes that it will draw new visitors to a city already famed for its beaches and nightlife, as well as the inimitable statue of Christ The Redeemer at the summit of Corcovado hill.
"The challenge of contemporary art is to increase your audience," says Marcello Dantas.
"How to do this? By bringing great works to public spaces."
The art-pieces will stay on show until November 2.
OiR will run every two years until 2016.