As the sun set over Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo, curious people gathered at the entrance of the Biennale Pavilion. At 8pm sharp, the lively beats of DJ Dubstrong greeted the public, who proceeded to stroll around all night long fascinated by the installations of artists like Muti Randolph, Quayola, Rejane Cantoni and Leonardo Crescenti, Mick Rock and Barney Clay, and United Visual Artists. Dubstrong warmed the dance floor and set the stage for our new creators, the duo Database, from São Paulo, who made the whole crowd dance and have fun with their crazy mix of indie-electro-French-blog-house-pop.
By the time Chairlift took the stage later in the night, the audience took a collective break from the installations to gather in front of the stage and sway to the clear voice of Caroline Polachek, which echoed beautifully throughout the great architectural space designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The band played songs from their acclaimed 2008 album, Does You Inspire You, risking a medley jam during “Bruises,” their hit single, by merging it with the classic “Melt With You” from British band Modern English. A highlight of the evening was the band’s performance of “Amanaemonesia,” a single that will be released on Terrible Records this August, whose sumptuous sounds mingled gracefully with artistic projections from the visual collective Bijari on the facade of the Biennal Pavilion.
Saturday morning started very busy at the Biennale Pavilion. Thousands of people of all ages came to enjoy the international assemblage of installations, music and films brought together at our three-day extravaganza. Everyone wanted to spend a moment inside the mysterious cube structure made by United Visual Artists, the latest iteration of their traveling, evolving Studio work. Others tested their balance skills on Rejane Cantoni and Leonardo Crescenti’s Piso (Floor) installation, or simply laid down to be rocked back and forth by the moving structure. In another room, music fans were delighted by the imposing multi-screen installation of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” conceptualized and remixed by Mick Rock and Barney Clay. Deep Screen, by local design hero Muti Randolph, was just as visually stunning as it was at our NYC event last year, and certainly the most photographed, tweeted and Instagramed installation of all.
Saturday also marked the start of our panel series, the first of which tackled the subjects of digital culture and new cinema visions and was moderated by graffiti artist/engineer/graphic artist Cisma, who spoke to the audience about his creative process and showcased some of his most outstanding works. The second panel featured the duo André Deak and Pedro Markun of the Casa de Cultura Digital, an initiative based in São Paulo responsible for designing physical and virtual projects related to the use of Creative Commons material. They’re responsible for works such as Arte Fora do Museu (Art Outside the Museum), which maps artistic interventions throughout São Paulo, recording them in a fully interactive map, as well as Ônibus Hacker (Hacker Bus), and many others.
Deak advocated the importance of sharing ideas freely and placing a premium on the process of execution as opposed to being motivated exclusively by money. “Suddenly you’re telling a person a fantastic idea you had and the first question they ask is, ‘But hey, how will you make money?’ That’s wrong. This question is wrong. Money is not a problem, it’s a fact. An average idea that gets off the ground is worth much more than a brilliant idea that is only on paper,” said Markun.
With the night approaching and a typical São Paulo drizzle falling outside, we started screening our film program. In the darkness of the makeshift theater, the audience enjoyed the Brazilian debut of Scenes From The Suburbs by Spike Jonze and Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Logorama of the French collective H5, the animation Neomorphus by the Brazilian group Animatorio and 4, by Edouard Salier.
The third and final day of The Creators Project located at the Biennale Pavilion can be easily described in one word: epic. It was the day of the momentous launch party for Emicida’s much anticipated new album, another project produces by the Studio. It was barely night fall and the line at the door of the Pavilion wouldn’t stop growing, people were anxious to see the beloved Brazilian rapper’s performance and listen to the instant hits from his album, Doozicabraba e a Revolução Silenciosa, which was released on the internet the night before. In fact, one of the most impressive aspects of the night was that a lot of people already knew the lyrics to the songs.
Tom Vek and Saam Farahmand’s impressive and fun DJ set warmed up the crowd and upped the level of anticipation. The duo played songs that were both modern and relaxed—electronic music with a swing and, as expected, remixed versions of Vek’s songs “A Chore” and the new single “Aroused." Fahramand’s projections were an invitation to dance, showcasing infectious images of famous people and the illustrious unknown dancing nonstop, enjoying life for the hell of it. When N.A.S.A.’s Zegon got to the turntables, the girls from Chairlift had already turned the Pavilhão da Bienal into an enormous dance floor, lit by projections courtesy of the Bijari collective. But Emicida was clearly the star of the night.
A few drinks later, the public migrated to the front of the stage just as DJ Nyack started playing the first beats of the song “Rinha, Já ouviu falar?” from the mixtape Emicídio. And the crowd joined in, singing en masse, mouthing the lyrics faithfully as if they had sung them for years, despite the fact that the new EP was released less than 24 hours prior. Later, Emicida himself marveled at how fast the fans assimilated to the new album. “Looked like they had all studied for a test!” he said.
Emicida was joined onstage by guest performers from his new album, such as Don Pixote who came out for the song “Pequenas Empresas” and Fabiana Cozza, whose voice echoed beautifully throughout the pavilion on the smooth song “Cacariacô." The album’s producers, K-Salaam and Beatnick were also on hand to join Emicida in performing the tracks they spent several months collaborating on. Beatnick played the guitar riff for the song “Num é só ver," and in the end everyone went on stage to sing Emicida’s first hit, “Triufo." It was an extremely happy moment for everyone who was there. For the rapper, it was mission accomplished: “To play a huge gig at the Biennale, independently, where Brazilian rap is the main attraction, we can cross that off the list as well…,” said Emicida on his very popular Twitter account.
Stay tuned for the complete documentary about the rise of Emicida, which will debut on our site in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the photo slideshow above to relive some of the magic.