Devotionalia, 1994-1997

  • Brazil
  • 2003
Devotionalia began as a project for street kids in the Lapa district in Rio de Janeiro. Dias and Riedweg invited the children to make an ex-voto: a wax casting of their foot or hand accompanied by a personal wish recorded on video. They continued with the project in other city neighborhoods until Devotionalia amounted to more than 80 hours of videotape and 1286 ex-votos. This formed an installation that was shown in the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro in 1996 as a collective appeal, not directed to God (the church) but to a society (from the museum). That same year the project was shown in five places in Europe, including Stroom, The Hague's center for the visual arts. Young people in The Hague were invited to formulate responses to the video messages and ex-votos of the Brazilian street kids in words and images. The project concluded in Rio de Janeiro, where Dias and Riedweg organized events and presentations with some of the children who had participated in 1994. Many of these participant children had died in the meantime. In Witte de With, Dias and Riedweg are showing a new compilation from the 80 hours of footage that was recorded in Brazil. Dias & Riedweg have been working together since 1993. Building on their earlier experiences, in the visual arts (Dias) and in theater and music (Riedweg), their work is decidedly interdisciplinary and is produced in close collaboration with specific groups in society.
Mauricio Dias, Walter Riedweg
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003


TRUE STORIES Installaties

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A non-realizable Film (partial views)

A non-realizable Film (partial views)

How can we comprehend the reality of a female political prisoner, shaped as we are by the media in our view of the world, without resorting to sentimentality or rigidity? How can we understand our own freedom in relation to that of hers? How can we see these two realities in relation to each other? How can we approach them? Alejandra Riera has worked since 1995 on a continuous investigation focusing on cultural differences and the political implications of media registration. Riera regards visual work as the place where more or less unfocused research provides knowledge and autonomous procedures. She regards her investigations as collective projects. In January 2001, together with Doina Petrescu, she founded the `association (des pas)', a place for social and political investigation and for cross fertilisation between art and architecture. Together, they have participated in Documenta XI, where they presented Fîlmekî ku mirov nikare bikisîne - A Non-realisable Film.

Alejandra Riera
  • France

IFFR 2003