Carlito Carvalhosa’s Waiting Room

Carlito Carvalhosa, Sala de Espera (Waiting Room), 2013, telephone poles, steel bolts. Installation view, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, São Paulo.

AT FIRST GLANCE, it looked as if something terrible had happened: an environmental disaster, a result of global discombobulation. As if a whole forest of trees had been uprooted by the force of winds and dropped pell-mell into the newly renovated building, which would therefore require another round of reconstruction. As if Mother Nature, in her fury, had submitted Father Culture to the wrecking ball, delivering a reply to arrogant Architecture thus: If you model the columns of your hall on the trees of my forest, I will use those trees against you and level your hall with them; if you think you can do me one better with your mastery, I shall do you one better with my anarchy. I will show you that I am more powerful than you are; I shall bring down your white-walled temple of Art.

But wait. Those trees are not trees, at least not anymore; they are, or were, telephone and electrical

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