André Castro Vasconcelos

As an architect busy creating installations, public space is my favorite scenario to work with. Three are three o main reasons for it:
1_Within public spaces, our relation with the public is a scenographic relationship. When a painter hangs a painting on the wall, he says to his public “look at this painting”, when a musician starts performing he says “listen to this song”, whereas within architecture, life can go on and we might not ask for attention but our lives are, never the less, influenced by the spaces we live in, as a scenario within a play.
So the everyday inhabitant can perfectly ignore one’s work. They didn’t pay to see it, they didn’t go there to see it, and therefore, their attention is more natural and free of prejudice.
2_We can make a simple statement and reach all types of people even the ones who are not especially interested in the themes you are working with.
In both projects I will give as an example, I wanted to make a simple statement about architecture: architecture is the art of using a material to create a space, regardless of what the material you have is. People engaged with that idea by recognizing the thought and the study behind it without needing for the help of deep theory.
3_In public space the public in evolved both with construction and final work as two equally important phases of the project.
Construction becomes performance because it happens in time and the spectators are present. People are already curious from the start and began asking questions along the way engaging with it by seeing it being built.
When it is already built, the rapport created transforms into respect and care in the sense that vandalism tends to happen less because people tend to respect not only the materiality of it but also the effort behind it.
Within the work I did in public space there are three recurrent ideas that even though not obligatory for an intervention in a public space, they are three ideological choices for me:
1_Low cost – low tech, meaning that the intervention will not need of a high specialized work force or material, and because it mainly uses interlacing, it is easy to reuse or recycle.
Also because people relate beater when the artist is modest and doesn’t use a high budget in his work.
2_Temporary, meaning that time becomes one of the elements of one’s project in its conception, construction, and presence and that its contemporaneity is assured by the own fact that it exists only for that period.
3_Using the banality as a theme, doing strange things with usual objects, things that “you could have done yourself”, “you could have come up with it” and therefore they relate to your reality as a spectator.
All together public space interventions present, in my opinion, the ideal conditions in terms of spaces available to intervene which are by average more challenging than private spaces, it is accessible for everyone, and the moment when we can catch the spectator is more genuine.
When asked to work within museums my approach was always to seek for the most public areas to install my constructions, like the entrance lobbies or the cafeterias. I believe, one’s to fully enjoy architecture must do it doing something else along. The same way one’s want to profit of a very good building one’s must not just visit it but live in it.

For2
"QUOTIDIANO”
Bienal da Maia 2015
Praça Dr. José Vieira de Carvalho, Maia,
27.06.2015 – 03.09.2015

Assemblage of the installation in the site

DIMENSIONS:

12x12x3,5m (lxwxh)

MATERIALS:

104 trousers, wood beams, plastic net

COLLABORATION:

António Ildefonso

PHOTO CREDITS:

Neva Micheva, André Vasconcelos, Patrícia Barbosa, António Ildefonso

TIME FOR PREPARATION:

4 months

TIME FOR ASSEMBLAGE IN SITE:

2 weeks

DESCRIPTION:

This project consists of a structure made up of 104 diagonal interlaced trousers. They are displayed in a triangular shape approximately 3m high, which is defined by 3.5 levels of trousers one above the other in a vertical direction.

CONSTRUCTION:

The construction of this installation was thought as a performance in itself. The unveiling of the final shape happened gradually through 4 different construction moments where the legs of the trousers were unfold row by row in different days so people that came across this space could presence about what is being built gradually.

“CONSTRUCTION WITH CLOTHES”
Performance Arquitecture (competition)
Largo Condessa do Juncal,
Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture
15.06.2012 – 28.09.2012

Assemblage of the installation in the site

DIMENSIONS:

17x17x8m (lxwxh)

MATERIALS:

264 Shirts, ropes, cabels, chains, 264 springs, 528 1,5 l water botels

COLLABORATION:

Nuno Pereira, António Ildefonso, Altino Monteiro, António Jorge Sousa, Joana Bem-Haja, Cheila Pereira, Paula Rita Lourenço

PHOTO CREDITS:

André Vasconcelos, António Ildefonso, João Vasconcelos, Ralf Oltmans

TIME FOR PREPARATION:

7 months

TIME FOR ASSEMBLAGE IN SITE:

1,5 months

DESCRIPTION:

This installation was assembled over the space of a public square. It consists in 264 shirts bottomed together in the shape of 4 domes of 60 shirts each plus 4 smaller domes of 6 shirts interconnecting them

CONSTRUCTION:

Building a cable and chains structure hanged on the threes _ Lifting the shirts using 1,5L empty water bottles in the sleeves and springs at the end of the ropes for final adjustments