The first edition of Residência Quintal Aberto was planned by the Educational sector of the Museu da Casa Brasileira, in 2018. We proposed an open public notice, seeking a diversity of views and approaches that involved the relationship between the yard, the house and its vocation, with the main objective being activate them as a space for experimentation and investigation.
These backyards accessed by people’s memories is, at times, a utopian backyard, which still exists, more inside us than outside. Although the Museum’s green spaces can be a backyard, the narratives show that this concept is broader. Is the backyard an urban structure in frank extinction? Where will the small gardens go, the stories told under the trees, the basin baths, the circle songs, the imagined games? The backyard is, above all, a space of resistance. First, from right to looking up and seeing the sky, to receiving sun stretched out on a chair. A space that mixes the private, the intimate atmosphere of the home, washing the candy pots, buckets, clothes. The protection of sacred and power plants, for everyday medicines that heal the body and spirit, from the rose bushes that prune at the end of winter. It is, however, also a territory of collective scope, where parties and family lunches take place, where visitors watch the dogs running and children playing, where there is a singing circle, a saint’s circle. Where there is space for meditation, reading a book, contemplating the vines that cling to the walls.
We received 35 proposals from different languages. The projects underwent a thorough reading, considering some criteria that needed to be met, such as: clarity, consistency, feasibility, openness to work and permeate other projects, relating to the Museum’s vocation, and which perhaps would not occur anywhere else but in the backyard of the House.
The selected participants were Coletivo Potatas Jardineiras (Maria Eudóxia Pilotto de Carvalho; Mariana de Toledo Marchesi and Roberta Moraes Curan) with the proposal Weaving relationships in the museum’s backyard: composting and the vegetable garden; Julia Paranaguá, with the project Ler backyards as someone who dyes memories; and Marla Fernanda dos Santos Rodrigues, with Quintal: coexistence, memories and knowledge.
All the work developed by the residents reverberated the technologies used by the educational in their activities, which are focused on experience, on the activation of memories and the poetic field of visitors. In this way, their work also appropriated our contacts through the sidewalk, eye to eye, conversation.
We work on activating the backyards that the Museum’s audience carries with them, whether real or imaginary. In addition to the groups that the Museum receives directly, the work of the residents included activities with passersby on the street and also with the public who frequent the Museum. During the process of monitoring the residents, we produced texts, cartographic maps and images, now systematized in this document, available for public consultation. This project took place under the guidance of educators Guilherme Raniere and Flavia Mielnik.
Check out the PDF about the residency.
In 2019, the Quintal Aberto Residence project received the inspiring presence of Peter Webb, bringing his knowledge to take care of the trees in the garden that were in serious health and were threatened with being eliminated from the garden. His suggestion for them to recover was to start, along with the educational, surgeries on these ancient trees. The process was also extended to care for the vegetable garden and planting herbs for tea.
In Peter’s words: “Trees are seen by many urban people as just a decoration, but many trees that survive the advances of the modern world are sources of memories and historical stories. History can be seen as a narrative of different contexts, forming a landscape of the past, present and future.
The collection of trees in the garden of the Museu da Casa Brasileira is unique. Over the years, with the development of the urban area in the Avenida Faria Lima region, many large trees were eliminated.
The art of Tree Surgery is almost unknown in Brazil, and even less practiced. Old age, trauma of various types and tree diseases can be treated in the same way that people are treated by doctors and dentists for degenerative diseases. Instead of sacrificing historic trees, they can be treated with care, without poisons, to have a dignified and durable life within the history of societies.”
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