Venice Biennale 2012: StudioMK27 represents Brazil with “Peep”

Representing Brazil at the 2012 Venice Biennale will be StudioMK27 and Lúcio Costa‘s 1964 installation “Riposatevi”.  The exhibit takes an intimate look at the lives of multi-generational households in modern Brazilian architecture.  Curated by Lauro Cavalcanti, the Brazilian pavilion will investigate the intersections between traditional and contemporary artistic tendencies and will feature the movie installation, “Peep”, by Lea Van Steen and , with photography by Cleisson Vidal.  The event will take place between August 29th and November 25th in the Giardini and Arsenale buildings in Venice.

More after the break. 

Courtesy of StudioMK27

“Peep” is a five minute film that shows the life of the Monte family in fragmented views as they inhabit House V4, StudioMK27′s project in São Paulo.  The moments in this family’s day-to-day routines are filmed on 18 cameras and presented in the exhibition through peepholes in the reconstructed walls of the installation.  This voyeuristic exhibition gives visitors a quick view of modern, upscale life.  Viewers encounter personal moments and discover the social dynamics of the household: the relationships within the family, between the family and the household staff, and the anxieties outside of the home.  Inversely, “Side B” of the exhibit and the house shows the “machine” that keeps the home operational: the employees as they perform daily chores and the household appliances that work all day.

Courtesy of StudioMK27

PEEPText by Gabriel Kogan

The emotions and sensations provoked in us by each space can only be perceived through experience in the space itself. The light, the size of volumes and the presence of bodies cannot be reproduced.

Architecture, however, can only be represented by itself, in its fleeting state, existing only in the present, at the moment when we are walking through the building. What we are left with are memories that build a new interior and slightly linear space that is cut in pieces.

Courtesy of StudioMK27

This installation is the recognition of the infeasibility depicting architecture and a suggestion that we speak of it using pieces of memory. An ordinary and made-up memory, a memory that is at the same time collective and anonymous, harking back to brief sensations and recalling atmospheres at any time.

These vaguely registered and almost cinema-like experiences are imaginary times: fragmented, ordinary images that can be taken apart and put back together. Sixteen cameras record the space in a home in São Paulo. Characters permeate the space forming small sketches of private life, with the moving images constructing the fragments of this invented memory.

Courtesy of StudioMK27

The architecture is one of the elements recalls the ambience of these lost moments. Just like the people and objects, it appears and disappears in the memory: now it is being filled with sensations and now it is empty. The importance of a great fact never comes to fruition, like these dreams about the day to day, where nothing happens.

Memory, unlike history, is filled with non-facts, juxtapositions. Memory (or architecture) has its other side: that which is not experienced, which is not seen, which no one wants to see and which belongs to the memory of the other. A mechanical room, a service area, the iron for ironing clothes. Six of the cameras show the other side of the coin, the memory of the other side of the space. Since these fragments depend on experience: memory for some, but not for others; spaces for others, but not for some. The architecture of memory is always spying through the peephole, taking another look at the space behind the door.

Courtesy of StudioMK27

Exhibit Credits

Architects: MarcioKogan + Studio MK27
Location: Venice Biennale 2012
Curator: Lauro Cavalcanti
Coordination: Mariana Simas
Team: Carolina Castroviejo, Diana Radomysler, Eduardo Chalabi, Eduardo Glycerio, Eduardo Gurian, Elisa Friedmann, Gabriel Kogan, Lair Reis, Luciana Antunes, Marcio Tanaka, Maria Cristina Motta, Oswaldo Pessano, Renata Furlanetto, Samanta Cafardo, Suzana Glogowski

Film Credits

Writer: Marcio Kogan
Director: Lea Van Steen + Marcio Kogan
Photography: Cleisson Vidal
Actors: Alexandre Bamba, Erika Puga, Yuri Vidal, Jacqueline Obrigon, Jerusa Franco, Ivan Capua, Potguara Novazzi
Casting: Jussara Felix Figueiredo
Costumes: Mari Leone
Electrician: Rodrigo Guerra

Cite: "Venice Biennale 2012: StudioMK27 represents Brazil with “Peep”" 21 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Fernando

    the boy is watching “mon oncle”? haha

  • Paulo Victor Almeida

    Pretty cool! The best of Kogan’s houses, presented in a very interesting way … under a very interesting look …

  • jose maria malagueta

    The closing house, just as if it’s going to sleep, just as life is safe and peacefull inside. Kogan “sneaking a peak” through the door lock is genius! Voyeur stuff, naughty architecture. The tape does not elucidate architecture, but the inner life itself

  • Murilo

    WTF?!!! The movie depicts the most insidious effects of brazilian’s unequal society. Is it the role of the architecture to serve as a stage to such an odd situation? Is this work really representing the brazilian architecture in Venice? Didn’t you guys find any better architect? #shame

  • Pingback: Peep x Studio MK27 | Potato Head Blog

  • Mary Matias-Wiles

    I am ashamed of our creativity. Is that worth to be a showing at the Biennale. Mundane cheap and extremely average. What has changed in Brazil during the last 35 years? NOTHING!The exuberance of our world reduce to tripe. I’d rather had the whole of the pavilion painted green or varies shades of it, going rusty and dieing as people(ie..large corporations) are doing systematically to their our natural resources, forests and polluting rivers and making the hoi poloi=ze povinho lives a misery guts for eternity. Are now the new Pompeii? Despicable.

  • Arviral Patel

    Good design