In testemunho Daniel de Paula assembled a group of rock core samples extracted from construction-sites of key-transport infrastructures being built in São Paulo, Brazil. The artist displayed the rock samples chronologically, organized by geological age. An accompanying diagram correlated the rocks’ geological eras to the construction-works and companies that extracted them. Most of the mentioned contractors were then being investigated in corruption schemes involving political parties and public officials. One of these companies constructed the gallery building where the installation was presented.
In testemunho Daniel de Paula assembled a group of rock core samples extracted from construction-sites of key-transport infrastructures being built in São Paulo, Brazil, spanning from highways, subways, tunnels, the Greater São Paulo Beltway, among other projects built by Brazil’s main macro-contractors. These road-works constitute the leading vectors for the city’s urban configuration, are strong inducers of territorial expansion, as well as crucial factors for the formation of land price and use. The rock core samples (called testemunhos in Portuguese, which translates to testimonials) were taken from drillings made to assess the geological configuration of the ground, a crucial information for defining the foundations for large constructions. The extracted core samples are composed by layers of rock sedimented over centuries, forming a time-line that ranges from the present-day to ages prior to human lifespan.
For the installation, the artist organized the core samples chronologically, according to the rocks’ geological age, and laid them on the gallery courtyard’s floor. Bringing together rocks from several geological eras and from various places within São Paulo’s metropolitan region, de Paula contrasted the time of formation of the earth's crust with the time of construction of the city. A diagram, available with the installation, correlated the sample’s geological epochs, the transportation structures from which they came from, and the consortia of companies that constructed these structures. Most of these macro-contractors were at that time implicated in the Operation Lava Jato (Car wash) which unveiled a corruption network connecting contractors, political parties and public officials. One of the investigated companies, Odebrecht, was responsible for the construction, demolition and reconstruction of the gallery building where the installation was presented.
SITU #2 testemunho
by Daniel de Paula (1987, USA/ Brazil)
rock core samples, earth and diagram
970 x 660 x 25 cm
geological analysis by David Alejandro Rund
03.09 - 12.12.2015
Galeria Leme, São Paulo, Brazil
Photos by Filipe Berndt, courtesy of the artist and Galeria Leme