Rio Bananas by Brazilian graphic artist Breno Pineschi in South Kensington, as part of Rio Occupation London
A london residency by some of Rio de Janeiro’s hottest artists climaxes this week with three days of art, video, theatre, music and partying
It might be hard to look beyond the next couple of weeks at the moment, let alone the next couple of years. But once London’s time in the spotlight has drawn to a close, all the Olympic attention will start to shift to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
The South American party powerhouse will host the next Olympic Games, in 2016. And to add an artistic spin to the Games’ east-west transition, artists from Rio and London are taking part in a kind of cultural exchange programme.
Granted, the phrase conjures images of amusingly awful weeks spent doing sign language at French families. But this is nothing of the sort.
The aim is to create an artistic partnership between the two host cities. A team of London artists will visit Rio next year, where they’ll work on both individual and collaborative pieces inspired by their host city. But first it has been the turn of the Brazilians.
Over the past month, 30 of Rio’s hottest artists have been resident at Battersea Arts Centre as part of the Rio Occupation London Festival, which has brought some caipirinha-fuelled creativity to venues including the Olympic Park, Somerset House, the Southbank Centre, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Roundhouse.
There’s been guerilla street art, live cinema and a Brazilian Musical Kitchen (where the chef-musicians cook for their audience while they jam), plus all manner of video, sound and performance installations. Quite how we’re not sure, but they’ve even created an ‘endless poem’…the show offs!
And the entire thing climaxes this week with a three day Festival Finale at the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey, where all the artists will be restaging their various pieces, followed each evening by live music and DJs.
So whether you’re looking for a taste of what the next Opening Ceremony might look like, or just a sizzling South American party, the answer is to do what so many girls have done before: go Brazilian.
Rio Occupation London: Festival Finale, August 1-3, V22 Summer Club at the Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey, riooccupationlondon.com