Crazy Tree Installation at Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo

São Paulo doesn’t have quite the magnetic draw that Rio de Janeiro solicits from tourists, but the this sprawling jungle of concrete, despite never being the capital of the country, reigns supreme when it comes to economics/fashion/art/culture/etc./etc… which is why I spent most of my 3 short days there museum hopping.   At the top of my list was the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (the contemporary art museum) because 1) I love contemporary art museums and 2) there’s currently an amazing giant tree tunnel installation on exhibit that I’ve been dying to see.

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Entitled Transarquitetônica, the structure is the work of Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira and it’s his largest installation to date.  Photos of this surreal structure turn out great, but it’s nothing compared to wandering around the insides or its perimeter as the tree branches stretch into every corner of the space.

Everything starts off inconspicuously enough.  It’s just the insides of a mundane hallway.

henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze

Then the walls start to degrade and mingle with mud like your heading into some kind of underground hold.

henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze

henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze

And then there are the tunnels.   You wander in and out of the space, some ways expanding while others close off into dead ends.

henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree mazehenrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze

Until the right passage dumps you out into the trees crown, intertwined between the columns and stairs of the room’s architecture.

henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze henrique oliveira transarquitetura museu de arte contemporânea, mac usp, tree maze

There’s also lots of other interesting artwork on display at the museum, like a giant cat with a rumbling purr that emanates through the hallway.  And it’s free entry:)

The tree is up on display till November if you feel like making a pitstop on São Paulo.

 

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