yuri firmeza

Yuri Firmeza, Action 3 (2006)


The violence of the real estate market’s expansion is common in Brazilian cities. Every day, historic buildings are demolished to make room for new urbanities, with very little public debate over its effects. The feeling of passivity that visitors facing these images experience is today primarily combated through collective activism, such as Recife’s Ocupe Estelita, São Paulo’s resistance movements of the Nova Luz project, or the fights over forced displacements in preparation for the Rio Olympics, among others. The work of Yuri Firmeza finds other forms of resistance to the speculative real estate market through urban memories. In Action 3, Firmeza entered naked into abandoned and partially demolished buildings. He outlined his body along the wall, entering into symbiosis (or a trance) with the building. Motionless, in fetal position, Yuri meditates, his entire body within the construction, on what the ruin of abandoned and demolished buildings can mean. Architecture should, in theory, protect the people of a city. Firmeza’s work demonstrates how the measure of space is, however, far from the measure of desire. The boundaries between art and architecture, a source of deep speculation, must also pass through the compass of the body, exposed to the forms and forces of the world.