Close-up of line of dug dirt in the ground with green grass surrounded on the left and right side

Artist Response to PN15: Temporary Earth Drawing

Raphaela Melsohn
Querido Hélio, I made a subterranean floorplan
On view June 17 – June 22, 2022

Artist Conversation with Raphaela Melsohn
Querido Helio, how can I translate you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | 5:30 pm, duration 45 mins
in conjunction with Summer Solstice

Raphaela Melsohn’s earth drawing in Socrates Park consists of marked lines in the ground that expand Hélio Oiticica’s maquette through Socrates. The lines are made with two procedures, digging and adding soil. The dug lines bring the soil to light, making it visible, referring to the idea of subterranean architecture. The added soil harkens back to Oiticica’s 1978 earthwork Contra-Bólide (Devolver a terra a terra) [To return earth to the earth]. Melsohn’s lines differentiate the surface for walking and create a floor plan of soil and grass for our bodies to go through. They also emboss the ground and slightly shift the soil’s topography. The mark-making process by digging lines connects with Oiticica’s architectural translation of the Subterranean Tropicalia Project maquette. The lines follow decisions made to make the architectural piece in scale, such as the curved walls, measurements, materials, and shapes in Oiticica’s work.

About the Artist

I’m interested in constructing environments from and to our bodies, in opposition to conforming our bodies to an ergonometric standard space. I believe in constant fluxes, holes, and organic shapes that intend to break the space as it is and break our bodies as we normalize them.

Among recent exhibitions “Por muito tempo acreditei ter sonhado que era livre” Arte Atual (Tomie Ohtake Institute, 2022), Columbia MFA Thesis Show (Wallach Gallery, 2022), “Biblioteca Floresta” (SESC Belenzinho, 2021), Eco Shifters (Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato, 2019). Solo shows “wearing a trap” (casamata, 2016), and “investigations in VIDEO: register, displacement of view and WAYS OF THINKING” (MIS, 2016).

Image credit: Noara Quintana