Séverin Guelpa is an artist and curator from Switzerland. He lives and works in Geneva. In addition to many regular exhibitions, he is the founder and director of the MATZA project, which brings together artists and architects in emblematic territories. Master in Politics and Science – University of Geneva, Master in Visual Arts – HEAD, Geneva School of Art and Design.
When the line meets the root
This project focuses on the small community of Horto that lives on the edge of the Tijuca forest, in the shadow of the ever growing buildings and urban development.
Rio is the city of vertigo. Those inspired by the beauty of its landscapes, but also the dizziness caused by its social, spatial or even racial deep divisions. To address the issue of Brazil and its forest today means to become aware of its real ecological and human disaster.
A scorched earth policy has led since years, involving in the destruction of the natural ecosystem of his country the fragile balances that existed within the society.
In a precarious context that two years of Covid pandemic have made even worse, WHEN THE LINE MEETS THE ROOT is interested to understand the city through the margins of its territory, its often blurred and sometimes relegated border zones that mark the limit between the formal space of the cities and the tropical forest. This project focuses on the small community of Horto that lives on the edge of the Tijuca forest, in the shadow of the ever growing buildings and urban development. A small area on the fringe of the city, located behind the Botanical Garden of Rio, whose history is strongly linked. For almost two centuries, the inhabitants of Horto have been fighting for their rights and recognition on lands that were promised to them but never guaranteed. A permanent precariousness and an uncertain fate for this population that has to rely on itself by developing unique bonds of solidarity and interdependence, between its inhabitants but also with nature.
At a time when the development of cities is showing its limits and solidarity is crumbling, the community of Horto offers a striking example to follow.