The Art On View At the 2016 Olympics in Rio

Starting on the 5th of August and ending on the 21st, the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to thrill and excite sporting fans across the globe. Running alongside the sports event is Celebra (Celebrate) – Rio 2016’s culture programme of events that aims to generate free artistic ‘happenings’ throughout the city, including activities in music, visual arts, literature, theatre, dance and pop art. The curatorial/cultural team putting these activities together consists of Nelson Motta, Vik Muniz, Sérgio Bloch, Antônio Urano, Carlito Azevedo, Luiz Antonio Simas and Breno Silveira.

Particular events in this jam-packed programme include: a sports film exhibition; a digital platform covering a chronology of Brazilian culture; a gastronomy street festival; spontaneous circus and theatre performances, as well as the official film of the Rio 2016 Games. Alongside these will be flashmobs, music shows and dance performances that aim to enliven the daily life of Rio, with transportable bookshelves placed on public transport to distribute literary classics.

Site-specific artworks at Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games include a work by Japanese artist Mariko Mori in partnership with the Faou Foundation, and the façade of the Aquatic Stadium, which is a reproduction of a work by Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao.

Mariko Mori’s work, titled “Ring: One with Nature”, is due to be installed at the peak of Véu da Novia (Veil of the Bride), a 58 metre waterfall in Rio de Janeiro based in Tijuca National Park. Mori’s work is a shining 6-metre high ring that catches the sunlight as it traverses across the sky. As the sun moves, so do differing hues of colour across the ring, caused by the sunlight’s rays, highlighting the work at varying angles. The work’s installation was completed last year in time for the Winter Solstice on 21 December, which caused the sun to align directly in the centre of the ring. The work is set to be unveiled on 2 August, just three days ahead of the Games.

ART OLYMPICS RIO 2016
Mariko Mori, Ring One with Nature, rendering. Image courtesy of Faou Foundation.
ART OLYMPICS RIO 2016
Mariko Mori, Ring One with Nature, rendering. Image courtesy of Faou Foundation.

The façade of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Aquatic Stadium (located in the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca) will be a reproduction of a work by one of Brazil’s most revered artists, Adriana Varejao. Created in 2008, the work is titled “Coelacanth causes tsunami”, and is inspired by the graffiti movement during the military regime in Rio de Janeiro.

ART OLYMPICS RIO 2016
Adriana Varejao’s work adorns the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Image Rio 2016-Alex Ferro.
ART OLYMPICS RIO 2016
The Aquatics Stadium, with the future arena in the background. Photo courtesy Ministry of Sport-Heusi Action-ME-GabrielHeusi.

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