Neighborhood: Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Occupation: Marcelo Felipe Zavareze Marques, known as Batman for his childhood penchant for wearing superhero T-shirts, is the curator-director of Multiplicidade Imagem Som Inusitados. The monthly multimedia art festival takes place at the Oi Futuro Flamengo cultural center and other venues in Rio de Janeiro from June through December.
Lots of creative people—designers, actors, filmmakers, musicians—live and work in Jardim Botânico, perhaps because there is so much beauty and a tradition of art here. As the name suggests, this is a very green place. Rio itself is a mix of mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and city, and my neighborhood claims two of Brazil’s biggest urban parks, Parque Lage and Jardim Botânico. They give the neighborhood a very calm vibe.
I usually walk or bike from my house to my office, passing residents jogging and cycling along the path around the lagoon, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. I go through Parque Lage, which houses the 18th-century Escola de Artes Visuais building. The school is a great place to take a class on painting or philosophy and to get inspiration—though I don’t need to go far for inspiration. In 15 minutes, I can bike from my house or office to the beach or the mountains or the inner city.
The idea behind Multiplicidade—which means multiplicity—was to introduce people to new and innovative performances that unite visual art and experimental music on the same stage. (See video from Batman’s Multiplicidade festival.) Now the festival attracts painters, photographers, designers, and other visual artists as well as musicians, filmmakers, DJs, and emerging technology artists from all over the world. Each creates works for the shows.
For our most recent festival, renowned Spanish filmmaker Carlos Casas presented the documentary trilogy “End,” filmed in Uzbekistan, Patagonia, and the Aral Sea in Siberia; we projected the film onto three walls inside of a warehouse. We have a rule at Multiplicidade that nothing can be shown on a white screen, so for another project, a musician played while we projected a film into a pool that we had built and then filled with packaging peanuts. It was gorgeous. And every idea begins in our little studio—our “laboratory”—in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood.
For Multiplicidade we have worked with more than 160 internationally recognized performers and artists—Carlinhos Brown, Vik Muniz—who have encouraged others to get into multimedia performance. Now fans follow the scene here. They’ve helped to make Jardim Botânico an artistic hub. You’re always running into creative people. Walk down Rua Maria Angélica and you will meet someone interesting. Grab a coffee and you’ll make a new friend. In Jardim Botânico, chance can still happen.
As told to Heidi Mitchell. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue.