Just how far does Brazil’s devotion to football go? Far, it seems. The beautiful game affects even the most esoteric corners of Brazilian culture – a reality that's reflected in the latest show at Baró Galeria.
One of the biggest galleries in town, physically speaking, Baró's huge space (formerly a hangar) is being put to inventive use by the artist Pablo Reinoso in his exhibition, ‘Estádio Firulete’. Creating sculptural riffs on the shapes of goals and benches, the Argentinian artist uses the word 'firulete’ to describe each of the pieces in the show: it's a word that not only captures the swagger of a Brazilian football player, but also has echoes of Reinoso’s hometown Buenos Aires, where it is used to describe tango steps, and where it also comprises a curlicued style of painting most often seen adorning buses.
But Reinoso’s futuristic, slippery nets and benches are not just for show. The gallery is also organising an indoor football league to play inside the exhibition space.
This show could simply be seen as an overwhelming display of love for football; but there's more to it than that. As the World Cup approaches (it will be hosted by Brazil in 2014), Reinoso is concerned with the sport’s central position in Brazilian and indeed, Latin American culture, and the issues swirling around that. There’s a pride and playfulness in this ‘Estadio Firulete’ that captures the essence of being Brazilian – just like football.