breathing project

Created in 2004, the Breathing Project aims to develope interventions of comtemporary art in the collection of classical art from Eva Klabin Foundation. Curated by Marcio Doctors, the project invite contemporary artists to intervene in the museu circuit, creating a link between past consecrated art and contemporary manifestations. 


Breathing Project aims at creating interventions of Contemporary Art at Eva Klabin Foundation. The idea came to light from the will of establishing other reading layers of the collection, which is basically of classical and archeological art, spanning a period of four thousand years of History of Art, from Ancient Egypt to Impressionism.

How to deal with a collection, that was frozen by the circumstances of its creation, which was that of bequeathing to the collective memory of the Brazilian Society a collection which is a brief summary of the main moments of the history of Classical Art, circumscribed in an ambience of a house-museum which reflects the personal taste and social habits of its founder? How to bring visual experiences more accustomed to the “white cube”, as those of the museums of modern arts and art galleries, to a place thoroughly filled-up by Eva Klabin’s imaginary?

Our answer to this challenge was to invite artists capable of establishing other reading layers to the collection. The intention was allegedly to create language frictions between the enshrined art from the past and the Contemporary Art. These frictions are triggered not only by the collection or the History of Art, but also by other specific issues of a house-museum. These range from the fact that the works are displayed in a home-made environment, in opposition to the traditional environment of a museum, to even other more subtle implications as the relation between what is personal and what is not socializable, between the space of intimacy of a dwelling and the one of the environment of a museum of collective representation. Eva Klabin dwelt and laid out this space, created a setting for her existence and turned it into a museum.

In other words, as a house-museum, the works displayed in the Eva Klabin Foundation are inextricably interwoven to the personal story of such collector: her taste, look, perception and grasping of life, of the world and of the History of Art. It is not an impartial field, as in other museums, where the works are integrated by what they are, deprived of any other intervention other than the history of art itself. Eva Klabin’s house-museum is an inhabited territory. It is a territory full of reminiscences, memories, which creates a background for the works. This circularity of meaning which drains through within the work herein assembled – as the impalpable and immaterial result of the connections established by Eva Klabin – made up the field of aesthetic proposition of  Breathing Project.

This field – of the same form of a work of art – has its origins in the unutterable. That is, the spatial connections established by Eva Klabin make up an expressive territory of her uniqueness. Even if unuttered, this territory is present and oozes from the relations which her choices have established. It is this silent territory which the curatorship wants to be put at issue when it invites artists putting forward an action in the intentionality which rules the space of this museum.

This situation is feasible nowadays because there is some sensibility in the visual arts being capable of cross through the immediate world of visibility and establishing other relations with its surroundings. The aim is that the invited artist uses as an aesthetic fuse his reading of the void spaces – of the void spaces existing between the things – and that allows us to perceive things. This is a proposal of working with the asleep, silent and rest zones, which are not straightforwardly distinguishable, they are what they guarantee our perception of the space, nonetheless.  This way the artist is creating new spatial relations in the collection of Eva Klabin’s house-museum, oxygenating, reinvigorating and updating the meaning of this collection. That’s the reason why the project is called Breathing Project.

Marcio Doctors