fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | Farès el-Dahdah; Alida Metcalf; David Heyman; Sergio Burgi
La Biennale di Venezia

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Farès el-Dahdah; Alida Metcalf; David Heyman; Sergio Burgi

Situated Views of Rio de Janeiro

  • TUE - SUN
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Farès el-Dahdah (Lebanese,b.1964) and Alida C. Metcalf (American, b.1954) at Rice University, (USA, est.1912), David Heyman (American,b.1980) at Axis Maps (USA,est.2006) and Sèrgio Burgi (Brazilian, b.1958) at the Instituto Moreira Salles (Brazil, est.1992)



imagineRio, on display in this installation, charts changes in Rio de Janeiro’s landscape and topography over time, as the city has existed and as it has been imagined. A seamless integration of photography and cartography highlights the spaces of gathering, be it where people have historically come together or where they have imagined coming together. Through georeferencing views of the city in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, its plazas, parks, squares, streets, waterfronts, and the central urban forest are now seen in remarkable geographic detail. Images from photographers such as Marc Ferrez (1843–1923) and Augusto Malta (1864–1957) stand out regarding the evolution of Rio de Janeiro’s social and collective spaces.

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
With support from the Getty Foundation and in partnership with Instituto Moreira Salles and Axis Maps, the Humanities Research Center at Rice University has embarked on a project to digitally integrate historical photography and temporally accurate cartography into imaginerio.org, a searchable atlas that charts changes in Rio de Janeiro’s landscape and topography over time, as the city has existed and as it has been imagined. The project is digitizing 4,000 photographic views of Rio in the Moreira Salles collection while integrating them into their temporal cartography, greatly expanding the variety of geo-located visual representations of Rio accessible to researchers.

Photo: Marc Ferrez, View of the Largo da Carioca with the Fountain of 35 Spouts in the Background, 1890


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
The imaginerio.org interface offers new insights for historians to visualize their specific sites of inquiry, for architects and urbanists to see proposed design projects in situ, and for literary scholars to map out scenes and narrative arcs in novels. Users are able to see how spaces across Rio lent themselves to living together, in what conditions, and also how successive generations have imagined other ways to live together.


Getty Foundation (Los Angeles, USA)
Rice University (Houston, USA):
Moody Center for the Arts Center for Research Computing’s Spatial Studies Lab
Humanities Research Center
Instituto Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Axis Maps (Madison, USA)

Production credits

Project Manager: Martim Passos, Instituto Moreira Salles

Team: Bruno Sousa, Uilvim Ettore, Ualas Barreto Rohrer, Bruno Buccalon, Lisa Spiro - Rice University (Houston, USA), Ben Sheesley, Andy Woodruff - Axis Maps (Madison, USA) Cíntia Mechler, Maiara Pitanga - Instituto Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Partners: Naylor Vilas Boas - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Asla Medeiros e Sá, Paulo Cezar P. Carvalho - Fundação Getulio Vargas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Aruan Braga, Lino Teixeira - Observatório de Favelas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Ana Luiza de Abreu, Ana Luiza Nobre, Antônio Firmino, Fernando Ermiro, Michel Silva, Luiz Carlos Toledo - Memória Rocinha (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Jens Ingensand, Stéphane Lecorney, Nicolas Blanc, Loïc Fürhoff, Timothée Produit - Haute École d’Ingénierie et de Gestion du Canton de Vaud (Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland)

On-Site Production: David Heyman - Axis Maps (Madison, USA), Bruno Buccalon, Rice University (Houston, USA)

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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura