Capacete, Rio de Janeiro


“The new type of art institute cannot merely be an art museum as it has been until now, but no museum at all. The new type will be more like a power station, a producer of new energy.” 

Alexander Dorner (1893 – 1957) 

CAPACETE is an independent residency and art agency founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1998 by the artist Helmut Batista, and also active in São Paulo since 2008. Its activities reflect its long-term interdisciplinary initiatives as a mobile and independent art space. CAPACETE facilitates the research, contacts and documenting of aesthetical, cultural, social and political processes in Brazil and in other South American countries, establishing also dialogues with international contexts outside the continent. The political, historic, urban, topographic, environmental and social contexts of South American cities provide vital laboratories in which to probe and create within the continent’s complexities.

CAPACETE projects departs form the assumption that the most important moments happen in the “in-between spaces” and “in-between times” and so, they present themselves in fluctuating and unstable ways, therefore being unpredictable and uncontrollable. The question of how to build perspectives for exchange of knowledge in a non-linear and non-hierarchical way, continuously, informs many of our programs. We consider as of vital importance not only to represent and promote the continuing developments in the language of art, but also to provide a platform to organize and document the many involved author’s production. CAPACETE aims to facilitate and to create productions that are bursting with the idea of a permanent space. The interest is the space between the gallery and the city as urban history, in its multiple manifestations and functions as a discursive platform of the curatorial proposal, building a lively dialogue with its participants.

In its more than ten years of existence, CAPACETE residencies received around eighty (80) artists, for research and project based activities, exhibitions and even research field trips in Brazil and Latin America. The residency in São Paulo is located at Republica neighborhood, center of São Paulo. The residency in Rio de Janeiro is located at Gloria neighborhood, in the center of Rio, where we keep the archives of the projects we produced since 1998.

In 2010, as part of the group of actions and events that embody the 29th Biennial of São Paulo, CAPACETE proposes to be a “space-time” for multi-disciplinary convergence of conversations, in a partnership with ‘Teatro de Arena’, an historic theater in the center of Sao Paulo.