Dias & Riedweg, Corpo Santo, 2012. Still.

Hidden Places, Windows, and Peripheral Viewpoints: Interview with Mauricio Dias & Walter Riedweg 

Guilherme Vergara – Over the course of more than 20 years, you have developed a rich body of artistic practices and social dialogue engaging marginalized groups – street youth, prisoners, and mental health users, among others – a veritable contemporary cartography of various hidden or invisible worlds. Yet rather than solely focusing on past projects, we thought that an instigating proposal for this interview would be to begin by discussing your most recent work, still in process, which explores religious issues and phenomena of loss of control, memory, and identity that you call the “cathedrals of our minds.” These are questions that both resonate with and expand on the magazine’s theme of “Hidden Lives.”

Maurício Dias – First, let’s talk about hidden places. How do we connect this with our work in progress, which, in fact, is not hidden, but is rather an embryo; it has not yet happened. I think that the idea of ​​talking about a work that has as yet no form, or even a very precise focus, is always dangerous and perhaps it is even a place for hiding. There is a difference that I think is paramount between minds, situations or people that may be hidden, and hidden places. In our work we deal with a lot of people who are in a marginal situation – on the margins of reason – and are treated as such. Like, for example, psychiatric patients, who have to take a lot of medicine, often shocks, and are often treated in isolation. These people are not hiding out. The asylum is a hidden place. Psychiatry itself, the concept of psychiatry, is perhaps a hidden place, because it is a place of separation. It separates a certain group, or certain issues from the social body. In our work, we have several pieces that use hidden places (separation) as a strategy. It is not the act of hiding, but defending the hidden place as a possible existence. This I think is where we can go with the concept of the hidden or of hiding in our work. It is not that we work with hidden people or hidden forms of life; it is not exactly that – we work with hidden places that are a form of survival, a form of intelligence, and a form of social interaction.

Regarding our work in process, how can we talk about something that is still in hiding? What I can relate is more or less how I spoke about this work yesterday to the curator of Video Brazil, Solange Farkas in order to get a better understanding of their institutional collection that we hope to draw on for some of – what I’m going to call from here on out – “windows”. These windows can be video channels or just scene sequences, but they will allow us to generate visual material. The idea is not to make a theoretical video or something about the idea of ​​God, but rather a series of visual ramblings that act as windows on possible ideas of faith. Some of these windows are already filmed, others we have yet to film, and still others will be drawn from archival footage. These are: Círio de Nazaré, in Belém, Afro-Brazilian religions, probably in the city of Cachoeira, Bahia, because we already have material filmed in Bahia, and some other popular religious festivals, such as the Pato Crucificado, in Maranhão. We do not want to separate syncretism from purity, nor to underline dogmas, but to treat these windows in visual ways. Certainly there will be a window with believers, obviously, here in Rio, which is a very significant front, so to speak, [very] present. We have a hard time with this group, but let’s see how we manage to get into this universe with a camera. Maybe we will have to enter without a camera first, to return later, because what can be filmed and what cannot is complicated. Still on the issue of evangelicals, we will possibly also address the issue of what is happening, especially in Bahia, but also in the Baixada Fluminense [city of Rio de Janeiro], where there is a growing evangelical violence against African cults. Invasions of terreiros [open meeting places for Afro Brazilian cults], destruction of idols…

Dias & Riedweg. Água de chuva no Mar (Rainwater in the Ocean) 2012. Ritual ceremony for Yemanja (Goddess of the Sea).
Dias & Riedweg. Água de chuva no Mar (Rainwater in the Ocean) 2012. Black washerwomen.

Walter Riedweg – The territorial issue will also come into play in another window, a more ambitious window for us, that of the city of Jerusalem, where there is the geographical territorial encounter of three monotheistic religions with their roots in the Bible: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. There, in the city of Jerusalem, there is a superposition of very strong icons. For example, high above and inside the supposedly destroyed temple of Solomon, of which there is only the Western Wall on the outside, there is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In other words, the interior of this main temple of Judaism is impenetrable to Jews and accessible to Muslims. Jewish belief says that they cannot penetrate inside the temple, as that would mean the end of Judaism.

There is also a video by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana [Hell 2014] that narrates this eventual episode, in which Jews penetrate the interior of the temple and it burns and is destroyed. In his fictional film, the temple supposedly penetrated by Jews is, in fact, the one built by neo-Pentecostal evangelicals in the neighborhood of Braz, on the east side of São Paulo, inaugurated by the then president Dilma [Rousseff 2010-2016], with stones that evangelicals from São Paulo brought from Jerusalem, on direct flights, created to make this São Paulo-Jerusalem connection between the airports of São Paulo and Tel Aviv. So the city of Jerusalem will certainly be one of the “windows” in our new work. Because it concentrates all this … On the same hill you have the Temple of Solomon, the first temple, where there is the Wailing Wall, above it you have the Al-Aqsa Mosque, from where the prophet Muhammad supposedly received the commandments of the Islamic religion and then he took to the skies on a winged horse. This inside the Jewish temple where Islamists cannot enter because it is Jewish territory, and Jews cannot enter either, because it is inside the temple and their beliefs do not allow it. Tourists enter. In front of this is Mount Sepulcher, where Jesus was supposed to have been crucified. The Holy Sepulcher is a church of which there are associated incredible beliefs, like the one of a staircase that may fall at any moment from the facade, but that cannot be removed. It is a wooden ladder, but it cannot be removed, because, supposedly, it was placed there for a sacred matter a thousand years ago. It is slowly coming apart and one day it will fall, but nobody touches it. The organization of the people who clean the temple is also curious … you have the followers of the Russian Orthodox church, you have the Roman Catholics, and there are other groups of Catholics and citizens of Israel, who alternate in cleaning this place, the Holy Sepulcher. And neither can enter during the other’s schedule. Everyone is a volunteer, but, even so, they all have to clean the same place, always in specific time sessions: “You clean until 16:15 and I clean from 16: 16. And don’t enter during my schedule!” These are territorial issues.

Maurício – Another window, for sure, will be Vale do Amanhecer, near Brasília, [a spiritual community founded by the medium Tia Neiva. [Also around the Brazilian capital there’s the famous healer and convicted rapist] João de Deus andChapada dos Veadeiros where there are people who swear on their lives that they saw ET, flying saucers – this will also be included; on a more psychedelic note. Finally, some indigenous religious manifestations will have to be included, which we intend to address with the help of an anthropologist and perhaps, if possible, accompany the ceremonies that use Ayahuasca within the villages and what transpires when such ceremonies arrive in the metropolises. So, through these “windows,” which are a form of documentation without comment and footage documenting various religious manifestations, we will make a kind of visual construction. There’s another one that I didn’t mention here, but this one has already been filmed, that features the holy weeks of Seville and Granada in Spain that visually re-enact the Crusades, where they dress up in the same types of hoods that are currently also used by the Klu- Klux-Klan.

Dias & Riedweg. Procession in Andaluzia, 2010. Still.
Dias & Riedweg. Flying saucers – yurts from Mongólia – source material for the work in process Fé em Vão (Faith in Vain).

With this visual material in hand, we hope to have a diversity of images that will allow us to address the real issues of this piece that are the territorial conflicts inherent to each of these manifestations. Like individuality, contrary to what it should in fact bring to the benefit of human beings, these manifestations make faith a dogma and erase the possibility of self-reflection, of the autonomy of the soul, of a slightly more psychic understanding of metaphysical thinking. This is what happens when belief is appropriated by a social discourse, which in all these cases ends up happening. They are territorial discourses, absolutely linked to macro geographical and historical narratives, but they are also very specific. Apparently nothing links the ceremony of the crucified duck of Maranhão to the Holy Sepulcher, but it does have a connection: the cross. As in Santo Daime there is also the cross, which is no longer among the original rituals of the indigenous peoples.

Walter – The idea is to start from this visual material and build on it, trying to make visible the territorial issues of belief and religion. We have a work called Deus é Boca, that mixes video with performance from the year 2000, which we showed for the last time at the chapel of the MAM [Museu de arte moderna] in Bahia. We had shown it at the CCBB [Centro Cultural de Banco de Brasil in Rio de Janeiro] in 2000. The installation features projections on top of glass screens and in the middle there is a glass booth, where a person (an actor or actress) is playing bingo madly. The actor only calls out the numbers from the bingo game, but he also reveals in gestures another identity that is a social one … these characters that read the bingo balls or could be a street vendor selling the bib or rat poison, or a woman who files her nails at the same time as she works doing phone-sex, or someone who dubs films or announces flights at airports, but always someone who works only with his or her voice. The idea was to put emphasis on religion as a discourse.

Dias & Riedweg. Deus é Boca (God’s Lips) 2002. Still.
Dias & Riedweg. Deus é Boca (God’s Lips) 2002. Still.

In no way did we want to affirm or destroy the idea of ​​God, but rather to affirm the idea of ​​God as an existing discourse. Because it is, above all, a strong social discourse, present in all societies, and independent of its own existence. The discourses that come with the church are very present, and, from there, we associated them with other forms of discourse. For example, politicians on campaign from Lula [former Brazilian president 2002-2010] to Collor [Brazilian president 1990-1992] who were part of the transitions at the time from the year 2000, visually associated with preachers and other street vendors, with TV marketing tele-sales, with a judge pronouncing sentences in the court of Rio de Janeiro, by pure chance the same judge that pronounced the acquittal of one of the policemen who killed one of the Candelária boys, the subject of another work of ours, Devotionalia (1994-1997). We kind of go back and forth between artworks, possibly we’ll return to some images of Deus é Boca. This is a feature of our work that we use all the time.

  • Dias & Riedweg. Devotionalia, 1994-1997. Frames.

Mauricio But returning to the issue of psychiatry and how it comes into play in these windows. Psychiatry is not going to be a window. Psychiatry will be one of the ways to “territorialize” the conflict between these different religions. Because, in other works, carried out with psychiatric patients, which are: Corpo Santo (2012), Nada Absolutamente Nada (2015), Nada Quase Nada (2016), and more recently Casulo e Palco (2019, still unpublished), we have observed that religion is an omnipresent theme. 

  • Dias & Riedweg. Corpo Santo (Holy Body), 2012. Stills.

These works, produced amidst immersions in the universe of psychiatry, enable us to observe the gaps that exist in reason, in understanding, in order to talk about the difference between religion and faith, and to possibly touch on the hidden places of our mind, in the confusions that we can produce from these two things, and that cause very serious territorial conflicts. Faith and religion are not the same. In Brazil such serious conflicts can now be seen between evangelicals and Afro-Brazilian religions, similar to the Palestine issue, and like the Jerusalem Syndrome. 

We do not know how we are going to capture this syndrome visually. It is very difficult, as filming a person in the midst of such a psychotic episode is not allowed. And the Jerusalem Syndrome is an episode that happens among pilgrims, who in the middle of their pilgrimage trip to Jerusalem go on a parallel psychic trip, and end up in a clinic called the Kfar Shaul Clinic. It is in a settlement, an Israeli territory in the middle of the West Bank (Palestinian territory), in what was once a Palestinian village, later destroyed and now houses this Israeli clinic built to treat the Jerusalem Syndrome. It is not a metaphor; it is territorial history. So, this syndrome synthesizes a lot of the ideas that we want to address in this project. The work could just focus on the Jerusalem Syndrome, but that is a difficult goal … naturally a camera is not welcome in this territory. Maybe we end up not using any of the “windows” I’ve mentioned, maybe these windows are resources for our own hiding place, I mean, our arduous path, to try to film the Jerusalem Syndrome. Well, this is what I can tell you about this work now.

Guilherme – I admire how lucid you are in relation to all of this, knowing that there are still several undefined issues ahead, which demand flexibility, because so far, I have counted here, the project comprises nine windows, not counting the Jerusalem Syndrome.

Maurício – That it is not a window per se but rather a filter (possibly not even to be directly addressed) for understanding how to think about ways of making and perceiving the final work.

Jessica Gogan – Something that permeates …

Maurício – When we heard about the Jerusalem Syndrome, we were there at the time of Gay Pride where people left one bar and went to another. It is impossible to do Gay Pride in that crazy city where everything is so religious. There you cannot say, “I am an atheist”. It is not taken well. You have the university that is this secular territory, the government is supposed to be secular, but it is not, it is Jewish, it is totally Jewish there. And it is repressive, especially with respect to the Palestinian issue. And when we saw that there was no parade, we had an idea (… crazy!) to make a performance, a carnival block parade through those streets of the medieval city with Jerusalem Syndrome group. But having a way-in to Jerusalem is very complicated … We have to go back. There are some people that we intend to contact again. Benjamin Serousi, who organized our residence in Jerusalem, who at that time was co-curator of the São Paulo Biennial (2013) and is now the current director of Casa do Povo, in São Paulo, and Nirit Nelson, from the University of Jerusalem, at that time, director of the Jerusalem Center of Visual Arts, among other people, but we still have to get half the funding to be able to carry out this project.

Guilherme – What you are questioning is already part of a process of dissolution of institutions. So, I understand that part of the proposal of your work, as being precisely to make these dissolutions visible … 

Maurício – It is difficult to penetrate that! 

Guilherme – I imagine! Because you are dealing with fundamental paradigmatic turns that involve humanity at planetary risk … 

Maurício – We see the Jerusalem Syndrome and psychiatry as resources to address these windows. I don’t think we will be able to film in an asylum again for this work, but, from what we have already seen in an asylum, one of the most important themes among psychiatric patients is the question of the idea of ​​God. This relationship between the autonomous individual and the idea of ​​God, from a psychiatric perspective, has a potentialization, due to the difficulty of being able to position oneself autonomously. Without autonomy, this idea of ​​God becomes even more present. It is difficult to trust that God will appear when autonomy ends, but it is possible. It is possible that God is a hidden place of the mind. 

Guilherme – I think you might be interested in the book by William James Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) where he follows different cases of people reporting on their experiences of a vision or revelation, something that for a long time they had been rejecting until they gave in or “surrendered” (a term that is often repeated among those interviewed in the book) reaching this possible communion with something that takes over the individual. But it is curious that what you are touching upon was very present at the time of William James. However, he does not address the political use that might have been behind [such experiences] so evident today. Today we have territorial discourses that both protect and manipulate…

Maurício – What are territorial questions? They can take on banal dimensions such as the demonstrations in Chapada dos Veadeiros in the Vale do Amanhecer … they have their territory. Society in general regards them as a bunch of crazy people, and they may earn some money from tourism, but they are not endeavoring to turn this into an official discourse, they are not entering Congress … But things change when we see the evangelical sector associated with an agricultural sector. We have a bizarre territorial reality. The issue of Israel and Palestine is also bizarre. So we have to study a lot more to be able to talk about these things. I don’t know if we can do it, but the intention is to have a political resonance in this work too. Of all these works that I have listed address issues of psychiatry – Deus é Boca [God is Mouth] Corpo Santo [Holy Body] Nada Absolutamente Nada [Nothing Absolutely Nothing] Nada Quase Nada [Nothing Quasi Nothing] Casulo e Palco [Cocoon and Stage].

Dias & Riedweg. Deus é Boca (God’s Lips), 2002. Frame.
Dias & Riedweg. Deus é Boca (God’s Lips), 2002. Frame.
Dias & Riedweg. Nada Absolutamente Nada (Nothing Absolutely Nothing), 2015. Frame.
Dias & Riedweg. Casulo e Palco (Cocoon And Stage), 2019- forthcoming). Frame.

But they have no political ambition, except for one. One is quite political. 

Guilherme – Which one? 

MaurícioNada Quase Nada. It is a performance in which we hold up posters with quotes from public personalities ranging from politicians to football players active in the national and global context in the last 80 years, mixed with the reading of short stories by the Swiss writer Robert Walser (1878 – 1956) written during psychiatric hospitalizations between 1907 and 1929. The stories are beautiful but completely outside the box. We organized a performance comprising the reading of these stores aloud, in a theatrical way, as if it were a tele-newspaper and interspersed with these phrases / posters as if they were commas in Walser’s text, bringing politics closer to psychiatry and vice versa. Thus, the ironic, poetic, and political potential of the performance lies in the overlapping of these two contexts.

  • Dias & Riedweg. Nada Quase Nada (Nothing Almost Nothing), 2016. Photos: Edouard Fraipont.

We do not yet have a clear title for this new work in process. The title is still in “hiding out” for now. But it will probably be something connected to faith – faith as a territory, differentiating belief from religion. The idea of ​​the “windows” gives us the possibility to materialize the territorial conflicts that we are trying to explore, and psychiatry will be more of a tool, a methodology in the filming and editing of these windows.

Walter – I like this window metaphor, because it is determined by another place, that is when you are in front of a window, you are looking at another place. So, this metaphor already takes on a territory beyond. Which is different from the window we look through. It is the window as a space in-between that interests me most, because I think it is the basis of our poetic condition of being in the world. We always rely on windows, on belief systems, and this place where we are, these “between spaces”, are also a potential abyss. There is no possibility to define this. The demarcation of this territory would be one of the goals for this new work for me. 

Maurício – The demarcation of the window? 

Walter – No. On the contrary. The demarcation of this space in-between everything, between inside and outside, this territory is the basis of our existence … We are stepping here and looking there, positioning ourselves in another place … looking at outside, but this inside (or between) is also a place. A place where everyone is lost, be it humanists, Buddhists, atheists, whomever. I think it is essential to respect this place. It is the basis of vulnerability, but also of respect for the other, because the other may have another window, he or she also looks outside [and] sees other things. The other is also stepping inside a place that they do not know where they step. That way we can create a convivial device that allows us to feel and transform this hidden place into a more humane one. So, if someone asks why are we making this work, for me this is it: creating between spaces and maintaining these windows. A window may affirm a belief and at the same time differentiate us, these windows are also the territory in which we find ourselves with the world.

Maurício – It is a way of working that began even before Devotionalia. The first piece we did together was in 1995. It was a paradigm-breaking thing, very ambitious at the time, without much of a defined form, as we didn’t know where we were going. And it was then that we met the curator Mary Jane Jacob, who saw this work … 

Walter – In Zurich. 

Maurício – The work was called Innendienst, a German title meaning something like Internal Services (1994) commissioned for an exhibition called Aussendienst (External Services), made with artists who were working outside their context. So, there was a Korean girl in New York, there was a Palestinian girl in Berlin, it was an exhibition of immigrant artists, artists working outside their territory. For example, even though she lived in New York all her life, the Korean had a certain presence, a super Korean way of thinking, just as the Palestinian also had a presence, a very singular mode of thinking, even in Berlin. And we were invited to develop a piece for this exhibition because we are living this context of being an immigrant. I had been immigrant in Switzerland for fifteen years. Walter, at the time had just started to live in Brazil and is still an immigrant here now for almost twenty-five years. And we were both working and indeed still work, on and off, in basic education programs for young immigrants in the process of integration and immigration in Switzerland. For this piece, Internal Services, we worked with children and teenagers who were the children of immigrant in Zurich. It was then in the mid-90s, when there was a very large foreign proletarian presence in Switzerland, because the Swiss did not want to lay asphalt, or mix concrete. This was work done by foreigners. After a certain time – ten years without interruption – the parents of these children were able to sponsor them. This created a huge problem in the public school system, because they had to be inserted in the basic school system at a certain age and all coming from other cultural contexts. Becoming literate, learning to do math, learning what you learn at school, but they didn’t have a common language. And we worked in that context as teachers. And it was from there that Dias & Riedweg was born or rather where the methodologies of our practices originated.

We learned to create, to develop a language or a means of communication, a form of expression, when there was no common language. A territory of conflict. Because the classrooms were areas of heavy conflict between Bosnians, Slovenians, Serbs, Albanians … young people directly coming from the Balkan war, which was happening at that time, as well as Africans who came with another color, another culture, another religion, so the classrooms were a veritable deposit of discord and argument. And we were invited to enter this universe. I am talking about this because it is in Internal Services that we tried, very much on the spot, to materialize this window that Walter is talking about, that is a “moment of passage” which I prefer to call a moment rather than territory, from the interior to the exterior, which it is the temporal territory of language development.

Dias & Riedweg. Innendienst (Internal Services), 1994, Frame.

What does it mean to learn to speak from the inside out? “Mother” has no similarities with mutter in German or mère in French. You have to go inside, into the internal meaning to understand what signifies mother in each culture in order to bring out the word that materializes it. And we used that as a way of defending this space – the defense of the space between the internal and the external world as a possibility to act in the world, to preserve autonomy. And faith, somehow, materializes itself there at this portal too. The mouth materializes the problem. 

Walter – It is this act of materialization, exactly in this very delicate exercise of searching for a word for a term that precedes the very evidence of discovering that there are several linguistic expression systems in which to insert this condition, this thing, this meaning in the outside world. This also makes very evident that translating is difficult, almost impossible. That is, translating is partly a lie, partly an omission. 

Maurício – It’s taking sides.

Walter – So much so that lingua franca is a powerful instrument of oppression. Just by imposing a language. Most people do not even realize this, that they are permanently being dominated by the very language they are using. Not even knowing the history … 

Maurício – Nobody really understands. 

Walter – Yes. But what I found so fascinating about this project is that in this process of learning, if you are completely lost in a language, in a context where you (still) cannot speak, you find that you have to connect a lot with the acoustic fragments of words…

Maurício – I’ll give you an example of what the work was about, because otherwise, it seems like a theoretical delusion … 

Walter – Yes. Yes. But I just want to conclude. 

Maurício – Okay. 

Walter – People use words, but lose their sense of poetry, their meaning. So I find people with autism fascinating, or people who have difficulty speaking, people who struggle to get a word out or the child who is playing. As an artist I wanted to have this ability to put myself in that lost spot. To fight to feel whatever it is that is wanted to be said. And that has a lot to do with the issue of faith, the religion of everyday life. In the religious phrase “In the beginning there was the word”, everything is there, the question is how do we deal with it? So this led to experimenting with various methodologies and for Internal Services we worked with smells. There were twenty-five schools that had these students, groups of immigrants, We made a repertoire of things with smells and things to touch (grope) inside pots, also noises (audio). And we said: “Close your eyes”, we would offer them a smell and ask: “What time is it?” We never asked what it was, but with their eyes closed they smelled the smells in the pots and asked, “What’s the color?”, “What time is it?”, “Is it old or is it young?”, “Is it heavy or light?  and so on … The lack of immediate logic in the questions immediately stirred up worlds of associations. So, based on these practices, we introduced a whole repertoire of sensory exercises, which later became a kind of method or device, be it incorporated as a process or within an installation, that we have used in many projects.

This was the first project in which we used this methodology – a practice that we still employ today. Once in a while I go back to work in schools. Not long ago I was teaching at the Swiss public school, again I had some conflicting moments, such as teachers whose [relationship with] difficult, sometimes aggressive classes had collapsed. This for me is a chance to work, to do this kind of work with these classes. I always enter this field. Close your eyes and speak from within. We also did this in prisons, and the person always becomes more human, whoever he or she is. This is also an opportunity to see a person, this state of closing your eyes, or turning them inward to seeing their inner world. In Internal Services, we developed this practice in a certain way, knowing that many others had already experimented with similar experiences. But we also quickly put into place a way to catalogue those experiences limited to visuality and not to sensations. Because, for example, with these tools you can easily hypnotize someone. The person can totally surrender to this experience in association and memory, but we always cut and redirect him to the field of visuality so as not to slip into hypnosis. For example, saying: “What are you seeing with that smell? And now, if you look back, what do you see?” And if the person gets up and turns around, then we cut and say: “Sit down, open your eyes.” This is not what we want. It is not to induce the memory of the experience, but rather connect to a visual description of the inner world of each one. We want to stimulate and maintain a balance from the inside out, and not this total surrender to the experience. The power of a smell, of a noise to activate the senses, be it memory or fantasy, is incredible. In these exercises, we want the person to know where he is, inside but staying outside.

We avoid bordering on hypnotic states, or entering the field of psychiatrist or therapy. We only do exercises of perception, of searching for connection between meanings and words. This is in a way a code that we have rigidly established so as not to enter fields of the individual psyche. Anyone who has ever run a theater course, which I did a lot, will find people who have a huge psychotic disposition and incorporate this in their work.  They have an enormous disposition to abuse; of you, of everyone, to live their deep crisis that is no longer theater. Because that person has to get treatment in another place, with someone who treats this issues. And in that sense, this work is very sensitive. We have managed [in our work] up to the present to clearly demarcate this territory and not to enter in the other. Even though, sometimes, some people are looking for more. 

This thing is so vulnerable. And at the same time, I really think that these are fundamental territories and if we want to avoid falling into this mess that we are now in this country … 

Guilherme – Of domination.

Walter – Yeah. 

Maurício – Awakening the poetic relevance that is hidden within each one of us is also a political project, because it not only contributes to individual expression [but also] to the responsibility for what is said in an entire nation. 

Guilherme – Yes, and one must take much care in this awakening. You can become a dominator from that power as Walter says to hypnotize, to … 

Walter – It’s easy to hypnotize, it’s easy to dominate, in a way. What does the media do? What does cinema do? People are in need of surrendering … to that belief without restraint. In this sense, I think this stance of constraint is very, very important. 

Jessica – I was reading an interview you both gave with the curator Paulo Herkenhoff. There is one thing that you said Walter that I thought was very important and that few schools manage to do, that is to “maintain contradiction in formation.”1 I find this notion of knowing something that also has to be undone at the same time very interesting, and then being able to use that knowledge. 

Walter – I think it’s fundamental. When I went to drama school in Ticino, in the Italian part of Switzerland, which is a bucolic, beautiful place, I had a neighbor. I played the piano, one day he knocked on my door and introduced himself – a fabulous musician, a composer. Then he said he had a son who he wanted to prepare for the conservatory in Milan, there was no one available, we were in the mountains … He asked if I could do that. I said, “I can try”. So I became somewhat of a friend to this musician. He has already passed away but one thing that he said to me stands out: “I have studied for about twenty years. And then I had to work twenty years to forget everything I learned in that damn conservatory to make music again!” This is a big question of education really, I think.

Jessica – But how might we see this in relation to your work in process? How can we think about this notion of maintaining contradiction as part of a process? And particularly how do we maintain a sense of contradiction when we talk about faith and religion? 

Walter – Yes. Yes. Indeed. Frankly, we are still a little lost, but we are trying, searching, for example, with this metaphor of windows. It is an element, but fragments help us to think when we neither want to, nor can realize something conclusive. We want people to be able to miss a part that they can also complete. We want to put something out there that makes people want to look for something instead of offering an answer. The problem is that nowadays it is more complicated to achieve this. In an exhibition or discursive context there is more space for this, but if you do something that appears in the media, or on social media, it is more difficult to do something that maintains complexity. This is a question that I find very difficult.

Guilherme – It’s interesting what you are bringing up. When you talk about this experience with children, children are already in the apprenticeship of language, especially when they are in a foreign land with other children of different languages ​​and culture. The state of a child is already a state of being foreign even in today’s world. It makes a lot more sense now to understand where your trajectory with Devotionalia comes from, and from then on this exercise. When you describe the sensory exercises, of feeling a smell with your eyes closed, or the proposal to look inside, you are describing, a practice of placing this being in front of another window inside, but maintaining the frictional relationship between the two worlds. So, I think it’s a very interesting construction. Because standing in front of a window has always been a metaphor for art history. Now even more so as this window is a living one onto the world in which we live, a naturalized world that you do not see, because you are immersed in daily life. However, you introduce another question. How do you keep “complexity” in your daily life, which is a term you use? The complexity in the system of presenting a fragment that can lead to multiple totalizations, without delivering totalization. 

Walter – We also use the term polyphony drawing from music meaning the numbers, lines, and parallel melodies that are defined in the tension between these lines. And not just one line. Music is not that … for example, simple music has a main melodic line and harmonies that accompany it. But polyphonic music has perhaps five independent features, each has its own strength. Our ear is able to hear a countless number of these musical paths, but the composition is the tension between these lines that are independent. The independent line is the tension that occurs between these lines. Understanding, an idea or new knowledge, arises from [such] a flow. I think this is closer to reality; we almost never have a single thought. We always have several at once and they condition themselves … 

Jessica – Taking this notion of polyphony with this question from the window, I remember another reference from the same interview where Maurício you note: “If our view has a banner, a motto, it’s this: to make of our view the view of the Other.”2 Is art here a device to make such an encounter possible? A polyphonic viewpoint?

Maurício – Walter when you were talking about a fragment, I was thinking, the fragment is a good hiding place for complexity. Perhaps it is only there that we can really perceive some complexity. When you have a well-isolated fragment. So, when I speak, for example, about this thing of our “view,” our way of seeing, of lending my own viewpoint to the other, it is not necessarily a thing of wanting to give a voice to the other, or to speak for the other, but of trying to use a peripheral viewpoint. What would that be? It is a viewpoint that is not exactly the focus of my eye, but rather of what is around me. One of our artworks in which we used this the most is in the collection of MAR (Museu de arte do Rio de Janeiro) Malas para for Marcel (Suitcases for Marcel, 2006-2007) where video-suitcases tell the story of their journey, not so much their story, but rather that of the city and the day that is happening around them.

Dias & Riedweg. Malas para Marcel, 2006-2007. Installation views.
Dias & Riedweg. Malas para Marcel, 2006-2007. Installation views.

Guilherme – Yes. They’re great. 

Maurício – What you see in the video is always the path of the suitcase, but the suitcase is of no importance. What matters is the story traced by it, the path being constructed, in the act of passing the suitcase from one person to the next. Arriving at the MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art, Niterói} the suitcase then stops at the house of a carnivalesco in Niterói and then goes on the ferry. They are stories without a script. The only script is this object, which is actually not the object but a device; it only serves to enable the peripheral viewpoint. And this peripheral eye, in this work, is more of a physical [thing], like in our piece on carnival, Camera Foliã (Carnival Camera) in 2004, I think. It was for an Alfons Hug exhibition at CCBB  (Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil) and Martin Gropius Bau, in Berlin. 

Guilherme – It was at CCBB in Rio, right?

Maurício – Yes. We asked ourselves: How are we going to film carnival, something already so mediatized? We were fed up with our own viewpoint. So we made a kind of “standard banner camera”, which was actually a wheel that we placed on top of a mast with four cameras. The wheel spun like the standard bearer leading carnival parades. We danced in the neighborhood street block festivities and the cameras, rolling, filmed what was around us. We didn’t see what was being filmed. We just danced with the cameras spinning on the wheel. And then, in the exhibition space, we projected the footage on large rear-projection screens in a kind of large penetrable magic lantern and the sound (external to the projections) swirled around, making a complete 360º turn in space, because the sound moved around, following the images that the cameras captured. This also destabilized the viewpoint of the spectator. And it was not one specific person’s eye. It was a peripheral eye … We like this abandonment, the abandonment of the ego, abandoning the idea of ​​the author.

Dias & Riedweg. Câmera foliao (Sambing Camera), 2004. Still.

Walter – A funny thing is that the kids really liked this carnival installation. Half of the images you don’t see, you only have colors. 

Guilherme – Spinning around. 

Walter – Yeah. And they start to spin around, trying to find a way to spin their body with the images and not to fall. I saw this several times, children inside the installation, while the thing was spinning. I found it interesting how the children spun with the image, wanting to let their body go with it. 

Dias & Riedweg. Câmera foliao (Sambing Camera), 2004. Installation view.

Guilherme – But this is interesting, because when you spin, all children do it, when you stop spinning, the world keeps spinning. 

Maurício – This is the first drug, right? (laughs) As a child, I would spin around until I hit the floor and see the colors go over my head like this … 

Guilherme – Wow! Wow!! 

Maurício – Until you throw up! I loved it!

Guilherme – That’s it. It is!  But let me turn to a question that also caught my attention, reading an interview with you both and Catherine David, is when she asks you about protocol and method.3 Perhaps what you are sharing with us would already be what you identify as a protocol and a method? Could you comment a little on protocol and method? 

Maurício – So, most of the time when we use the camera, when we hold the camera, in fact the camera becomes a device to interact with what we are filming and, again, with the spectator. So, the way we shoot is very conceptual. For example in Funk Staden (2007) and those works engaging with carnival or deploying suitcases. Sometimes, we need more than one camera and normally our scripts do not have a script that includes dialogue. They have a thematic world, and then there are the windows, or the filters, or the strategies, which will generate a certain way of realizing our work. The way you shoot is going to be one part of the device for the other. In these three cases, in these works, this is quite obvious. And there are others that are similar, not all of them, but many of our works deploy these strategies. Here it is the camera that kind of writes the script.

Dias & Riedweg. Funk Staden, 2007. Frame.
Dias & Riedweb. Funk Staden, 2007. Installation view.

Jessica – Is there a difference between protocol and method? Or was that more of a question from Catherine? 

Maurício – I don’t know what is the difference in protocol for method. 

Jessica – Ah.

Guilherme – The first time I saw you mention a protocol was in explanations of Devotionalia

Maurício – Yeah. Yes. In this sense of revisiting, of going back to past works … But in our eyes it is not exactly a protocol, not even a method. This revisiting it is just a possibility that is natural for us in that each work draws on the other … The works are linked regardless of whether we revisit the previous ones or not, they are always present in each other. For example, in Nada Quase Nada, a piece that is part of a thematic group of works dealing with psychiatry, we directly revisit three works. The first one was Blocão (Big Bloc, (2014)), a graphic work we did for an exhibition at Casa França Brasil that is composed of a block of black and white posters with 80 phrases drawn from celebrities from politicians and football players to singers and socialites mixed with phrases by Beckett and Ionesco. Triviality, the banality of our daily lives mixed with philosophy, brings us closer to the psychiatric context. The idea was that these posters would leave Casa França Brasil, available for free for the public to take, right at the time of the 2013-2014 demonstrations when political unrest started to pop up all over Brazil, and there, right in the center of Rio, which was a intense place of demonstrations, these posters went on the streets … We still receive images of these posters in the demonstrations. We’ve seen them in a pub bathroom, on marches, at the others’ houses … There were several of them around. That was the initial idea of ​​this work.

Dias & Riedweg. Blocão (Big Bloc) 2014. Stills.
Dias & Riedweg. Blocão (Big Bloc) 2014. Stills.

Another work was Nada Absolutamente Nada, in which we entered the world of Robert Walser to recreate with patients from IPUB (Instituto de psiquatria de Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro) new texts on which the script for the video that was shown at Casa Daros in 2015 was based.

Dias & Riedweg. Nada Absolutamente Nada (Nothing Absolutely Nothing), 2015. Still.

And the third element we used were masks, a strategy deployed in Maximum Voracity (2003), a piece that we did with hustlers in Barcelona. We lent our face masks to the hustlers for our interviews with them, so you what you see is the artist’s visual identity, but what you hear is the life of the prostitute, which is disturbing for those who are watching … What you see in the video is always the artist and the artist’s mask, but what you hear is the testimony of a prostitute. We wanted to put into play this kind of psychoanalytic thing.

The result of revisiting these three works was Nada Almost Nada … We put on these masks and performed as if it were a newscast. And this superposition of the phrases of the posters, with the intense texts by Robert Walser and our bizarre masks, generated a possible dimension to really see the totally crazy reality of politics, Realpolitik, which is what it is. Because in fact what separates Bolsonaro from the madman in the asylum is that he is on the outside. That’s all.

Guilherme – And we are all inside. (laughs)

Maurício – Yes! Well that is what we were trying in this work, which I think we managed to a certain extent. And I see this as a protocol … that is revisiting previous works. Devotionalia, on the other hand, had as its final result the protocol of the work itself. When we went back to look for the homeless boys in the streets eight years later, we learned that many of them had died, no longer to be found, and we still didn’t know what to do with those hands and feet [wax ex-votos made from their hands and feet created at the time].

Then, in 2004, a Japanese curator from the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art arrived saying: “We really want to show this work”. I said: “But this work is a white elephant, we left the hands and feet in Brasilia where the work was exhibited for the last time in the National Congress, it’s all scattered, probably totally broken up.” But he said that the Tokyo museum would send for it … “we are going to restore and install it properly”. And at that time Catherine David suggested: “Why don’t you create a protocol for the work …including resuming the video where you left off, trying to find the boys who survived?” So then we made what is now the final form of the video that told the stories of the boys who survived and the boys who died mixed with press quotes about them including a part featuring press text that appears as a black and white scroll in that cold manner of the press, saying: “Another massacre on the Madureira viaduct, years and years after the one at Candelária, it is unknown how many died, no one had a name “… this while the video presented previous images (from Devotionalia) with those same people, when they were still boys and now dead, or being shown by others who were still alive and referred to them in these new videos eight years later. Several of these press quotes are about the case of Sandro, and 174 bus hijacking that shook the country when it was broadcast live on TV. Eight years earlier, he had been one of the boys who participated in Devotionalia, playing with wax and plaster balls. So, these things in revisiting the work produced what might be called the inside-out of the ex-votos created for the piece and in this way, yes they are protocols. They are stories that come from the life within the work and outside of it….

And the other word you used? Was it strategy? 

Guilherme – Method. 

Maurício – Method. Yes, the methods are: the peripheral viewpoint, the attempt to stay at the window…

Guilherme – Yes. Window as a method. 

Maurício – We don’t sit on the fence. We stay at the window, both inside and outside. We look inside and look outside. And the other always has that same window in that each one has their own window (laughs) … There is a very beautiful film that I don’t know who made it, which is about blindness, which is called Janela da Alma [Window of the Soul]. 

GuilhermeJanela da Alma (2001) is by João Jardim and Walter Carvalho. 

Maurício – Beautiful isn’t it? 

Jessica – This connects with a concept discussed in other interviews of yours that of the idea of ​​the expanded documentary: “The notion of the expanded documentary implies doubting the truth almost all the time so as to be able to go on looking for it.”4

Walter – For example, in Pequenas Histórias de Modéstia e Dúvida (Little Stories of Modesty and Doubt (2010-2012)) [– an installation comprising various videos –] we try to make video[s] that have no editing and break this linear way of telling a story. In it, the image always starts and ends in a pixel, leading to the next image. 

Maurício – In this work, every image comes out of a pixel until it fills the screen. And when it fills the screen, another pixel comes from the middle and generates another image … This was the concept.   

Walter – But there are no edits. 

Maurício – And there are three screens.

Dias & Riedweg. Pequenas Histórias de Modéstia e Duvida, 2010-2012. Installation view.

Walter – In practice, each image in this work emerges from a single pixel, from its center to its edges, but it gives the impression that it continues to flow outwards, somewhere, because there’s the next pixel ready, coming from the middle, pulling and opening up the image as it takes up all the screen space. Many people who watch it probably don’t even realize it, but there is another presence in this work because it contradicts the dogma of the temporality of the video, of always having a cut. A cut is a disturbing thing that we were trying to avoid…

Maurício – Moving away from a chronological narrative, you enter a Kairós, in leaving Chronos and entering Kairós it is another time. A pixel evolves into an image until the screen fills up, then, when it fills up, another pixel in the middle emerges with another image. And there are three screens for each of the four videos. The final space, in fact, consists of twelve floating screens (removed the wall, hanging from the ceiling, and screens on both sides) and as a single polyphonic narrative, a narrative based on fragments. 

Guilherme – But the audio, the audio …? 

Maurício – The audio consists of four songs, with Walter playing the piano and some sounds we recorded while filming as well. 

Walter – Well, there are fragments of the image’s audio, let’s say, as if it were a kind of perfume within the audio, but in fact, there are four songs that I composed for each of these videos, that I play on the piano, that have nothing to do directly with the image, in order to exactly affirm the (external) place of the viewer in front of these images. 

Guilherme – But do you also play from improvisation? 

Walter – I made a concept for each piece of music, for each video. The idea was to do something that creates a distance and affirms the space where the viewer is. 

Maurício – Other videos that are part of the installation include: A Cidade Fora Dela (The City Outside of Itself (2010)) that is literally a window. It depicts the city filmed from the window of a shanty-bar, from the top of the Santa Marta favela … the camera starts outside with an open plan view of the São João Batista Cemetery in the distance, as it gets closer it catches kites in the sky, then enters through the window of the shanty-bar where there is a game of pool going on. But what happens with this thing of the three simultaneous screens, with images starting from a single pixel, is that it almost forms a cubist game … on the three screens, because they fragment so much that while you register what is happening in the movement, you don’t hold onto any one image of the sequence. The story, the video, come in through other porosities.

Dias & Riedweg. A Cidade Fora Dela (City Outside of Itself) 2010.

There is another video [that is part of] this installation called Peladas Noturnas (Nocturnal Kick-abouts, (2011)) featuring night soccer games on the public squares of the favelas created with the UPPs (Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora / Pacifying Police Units). Filmed at night, so that you follow the camera from the outside to the inside … UPP squares look like lunar stations in the landscape, a little golden because of the light over the metal bars, there like that in the middle of a mountain of little specks of light from the favela. Then, with each sequence from a central pixel, the camera gets closer, and you see, finally, a human action, the boys playing.

Dias & Riedweg. Peladas Noturnas, 2011. Still.

Another one in this series is O Espelho e a Tarde (The Mirror and the Dusk (2011)), featuring a sunset with our friend Cleiton, as he walks up into Complexo do Alemão, while carrying a mirror, and you see the favela in the mirror. And through this continuous rhythm of pixels replacing each other, the narrative takes another direction, really almost cubist, which is the fragment of the fragment of the fragment, to arrive at a more complex discourse, without falling into the classic narrative of telling a story. Without falling into the chronology of the story told. We tried, in some way, to build narratives that are a little freer from chronologies. This, perhaps, is also a method.

Dias & Riedweg. O Espelho e a Tarde, 2011. Still.
Dias & Riedweg. O Espelho e a Tarde, 2011. Installation view.

Jessica – It also seems to me that this method has as much to do with a praxis of intervention as it does of representation. You don’t just arrive with the camera to make a documentary. It is another body of narratives that is being constructed… 

Maurício – Yes, we are aware that our interventions, even when participatory, are also representation. As much as we try to avoid producing for the art market, we generate products that turn into artworks. But they are also devices. There is editing, there is a concept, but we are also very formalistic. For us, form is a passion. It’s not just the intellectual issue of work. It’s the translation of it. How it will be deployed later, as a device for another work. In this way, we really try to give an authorial form to our work. Let people look and know: “This is a video of these two. Of that pair that we can’t remember their name.”

Jessica – Yes, but when you talk about a form in relation to representation, I think it’s interesting to also ask about form in relation to intervention. Because there are so many ethical-aesthetic and political-social issues there. What are you catalyzing? What are you mobilizing? Everything is so complex. 

Maurício – Yes. Only in our case it is not always intervention. We do not intervene, we encounter. It is an interaction. So, using art as a device we try to produce work that all the time expands this limit between interaction and representation in each project. This applies from the time we design a concept to encountering the other in the first recording, presenting this concept and inviting them to participate, even up until the final device is installed in a museum, knowing that it will encounter another unknown, where we don’t know and can’t control who that person is, whether an art critic or a Bolsonaro. So, this concern, this issue between interaction and representation, is present as a friction in the elaboration and execution of the work all the time. So it is difficult for us to determine when a work begins and when it ends. The first idea can emerge in a dream that one of us has: “Ah, there is something there. Let’s go”, then we start talking, one of us speaks, the other listens and already changes part or all of what the other is talking about. Little by little it becomes a concept. Then, there is the other thing, which is: “Let’s put this concept into practice”, how to finance it, sometimes we need authorizations, how to make the project viable if there are other people involved, how will we deal with the question of ethics. What should be our approach, because there are differences in relation to this other. Nobody is the same. All of this has to be taken into account. This interaction, already starts being taken into account when the idea goes on paper, there is already an interaction between the two of us, and when it moves from an idea on paper to become something, there are a lot of new interactions which will need to be taken into account and incorporated into the final work. And often, afterwards, the curator comes along and changes things at the time of exhibition. Sometimes it is the exhibiting space, not the curator that determines this. Our exhibition at the Hélio Oiticica Municipal Arts Center in Rio did not have a curator. It was an entirely monographic work [on our part]. It was a large solo exhibition featuring all our works done in Rio, which was our criteria for choosing the works, and we set up the exhibition responding to the space. But there are a lot of exhibitions that the final form of display would not have been our choice. For example, our piece Funk Staden (2007) presented at Documenta. Here the curator argued: “No, it has to be this way. You are at Documenta, there is a relationship with other works, Documenta has its own argument; you have to subscribe to the conceit of the exhibition.” So as the work lives there are negotiations between interaction and representation all the time. I think it is not very different from any other form of work.

Guilherme – I am drawn to two axes of the thread of this conversation. One is this question of method and protocol. And the other one, perhaps in a more subliminal way, but also more forcefully in various works, like this one, is the constant presence of religion, politics and territory in different ways. For example, in the ex-votos, there is a relationship of faith and hope within the installation and within the concept and process itself. In the process of Devotionalia you collected the testimony of each boy, a tremendous act of care. In Funk Staden, I think about the images of violence and pleasure at a funk party and how they are both of hell and paradise, happy people dancing. In Cidade Fora Dela you have the sky as a witness superimposed on the concerns of the city. All the time, in various dimensions, not in a thematic way, this relationship is present. Do you see this? It is a relationship of questioning, as you said, of risks and windows of the human, and of the superhuman, of the divine, of the sacred, of injustice, and everything. At any moment we can see this as a conductive thread in several works. Even through this modesty and humility.

Maurício – This is difficult to say, but this work in process is a work about faith. And faith, far beyond being a territorial imprisonment, a sin, it can be an engine – an engine of change, an engine of expression. It is, perhaps, located in that space between the internal world and the external world. Perhaps, when it is expressed in the outside world, it loses its greatest potential because it will materialize in some territorial form, and it will be corrupted by territorial policy. Thomas Mann speaks of this in a beautiful way in the book Doctor Fausto, as the expression of faith ends up being corrupted when it becomes religion, it enters a territory that is no longer a territory of the soul. It enters a social territory, a territory with the other. So, I don’t know, we have one … it’s not that it’s an obsession, but this question of faith, it’s very similar to the obsession of creation. It is very similar to a kind of childbirth. You have something you are going to put out into the world. Perhaps art is an act of faith. 

Guilherme – A work of faith, against the corruption of faith? There is an exercise of constant friction in the various trajectories that you … I don’t know, the word faith is also a difficult word, isn’t it? 

Maurício – It is very loaded. 

Guilherme – Yes. But, is there some kind of strong thread of motivation for you? 

Maurício – If we think about faith as Gilberto Gil puts it in his songs. Faith is living. Being alive. But, at the present moment, to say that a work is an act of faith, it sucks! Because you take on a burden with those words that have been much abused.

Jessica – Maybe it’s a faith in doubt. 

Walter – Yes, the doubt is certainly more worthy than … 

Maurício – Doubt is more dignified than certainty, right? 

Walter – More than an affirmative faith. That is the question, perhaps … a definition of a more mystical, more dignified force of faith, includes doubt. Religious faith eliminates doubt. And maybe, there, is the time to say no.

Maurício – Faith must be emancipated, released from creed, from certainty. 

Walter – If we can state the doubt without falling into cynicism, and learn to deal with differences. I remember once, Catherine David said: “The big difference is the small difference.” 

Maurício – In the nuances of difference.

Walter – In the nuances. The difference is in the nuances. 

Maurício – What make the difference are the nuances of difference. 

Walter – I think this is fundamental. Often something that is slightly out of place becomes charming. If it were exactly in place, it would be oppressive. It would be nothing. But transparency, fragility, temporality, are the elements that seem to me are the criteria of what interests me. Even within the territory of religious people, there are people who have all these qualities and are able to be and act respectably. Often people representing religiosity are indoctrinating, dangerous. Because they don’t have any of those qualities anymore. Neither fragility nor temporality … The ephemeral aims at eternal power, to be and maintain strength. Faith can go hand in hand with certainty, but doubt must [also] be with you. 

But I was trying to say something else. In this new work, we will address rituals that we have had for centuries, and some new ones and ones we repeat such as the processions. This need for a bunch of people to walk together in one direction, carrying things, singing, repeating things can be seen from military parades to carnival, or in religious processions. Seeing these parades, there are many similarities and essential differences. But the difference is exactly in the nuances.

Maurício – But I think that, returning to your suggestion of a work of art being like an act of faith, I think so … Faith, in a sense that is prior to belief, faith in doubt. When a liturgy has not yet been formulated, you know? Make of work an act of faith. Faith in what sense? In the sense of believing in what is not yet known. Faith, creed, belief, religion … things become politicized, socialized, territorialized … it’s just like that [Gilberto] Gil song: “…Andar com fé eu vou [Walk with faith I will go..] That’s beautiful! Gil talking about faith and doubt, I think it’s incredible! Because to have faith you have to have doubt. Otherwise, it has already become something else. It has already become a creed, a liturgy. If you have a little faith in something, you can throw yourself into it, you are in a territory that you don’t know. Art has to be that way too.

Dias & Riedweg. Em casa (at home), work in progress, 2020.
Dias & Riedweg. Em casa (at home), work in progress, 2020.


Since 1993, Maurício Dias (Rio de Janeiro, 1964) and Walter Riedweg (Lucerna, 1955) have worked together on projects that investigate the ways in which private psychologies affect, build, and deconstruct public space, and vice versa. In projects in which alterity and perception are central issues, Dias & Riedweg often start from interactive processes to produce encounters and exchanges among particular groups in society, which focus on the identity and involvement of participants. 

Dias & Riedweg’s work has been included in important international exhibitions such as Conversations at the Castle, by Homi Bhabha and Mary Jane Jacob, in the United States, L’État des Choses by Catherine David at Kunst-Werke Berlin and the 2007 Documenta de Kassel. from Venice 1999 curated by Harald Szeemann, and at the 24th S.Paulo 1998, curated by Paulo Herkenhoff.  Their work is included in the collections of major museums such as the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris, MACBA in Barcelona, ​​KIASMA in Helsinki, Reina Sofia Madrid, at MAR, MNBA and MAM in Rio, MAM in S.Paulo and Bahia, at MFA Houston and MUAC, Museum of Contemporary Art of Mexico, the duo also received the awards from Video Brasil, the Guggenheim of New York, the Bolsa Vitae of S. Paulo and of the Pro Helvetia Foundation.


1 The Street as Destination: Paulo Herkenhoff Interviews Dias & Riedweg. In: Dias & Riedweg, Até que a rua nos separa. Rio de Janeiro: Nau Editora, 2012, p.118-157, p.129
2 Ibid, p.138
3 The Anonymous Between the Near and the Distanct: Catherin David Interviews Dias & Riedweb. Ibid, p.96-115, 103
4 The Tropics Exist: Cuauhtémoc Medina Interviews Dias & Riedweg. Op cit p.160 – 191, p.187