In Brazil, the architectural feature of the laje– a concrete rooftop devised as a supplemental pavement in domestic homes, often defined and characterized as a bridged social space of heterogeneous uses – operates as a sort of matrix to Cobertura’s own goal of intersecting individual bodies, affects, fields of discipline and interests. The project understands that the laje is essentially a performative space to dispose and display the participants' visible world, to organize and signify its forms, shapes and surfaces according to a non hegemonic, active center, modeled by necessity and design.
Cobertura emerged spontaneously after photographer Cassia Tabatini and art director Marcelo Alcaide undertook a 48 hour spell of recording friends, guests and models on a such a rooftop in downtown São Paulo. The bodies in situ were ones that evade hegemonic societal norms, dissident in their forceful existence, and both manifest and incarnate examples of the period of re-democratization and insertion that Brazilian youngsters experienced until the mid 2010’s. From the outset, Cobertura became about being with and among other visible and observing beings. Henceforth, determined to evade the conventional modalities of fashion shoots and campaigns, and in tandem with international labels Courrèges, Telfar Global, Y/Project, Random Identities, and Vava Dudu, the project has sought to mine the progressive core that these brands share in order to issue discordance with the increasing restrictions of civil liberties and the rise of extreme conservative ideologies across the planet.
A key feature of Cobertura is the succession of open ended and reflexive collaborations that unfold as the project registers and is appropriated by its own participants. Epitomized so far in three interconnected presentations held at Carpintaria-RJ, Casa Triangulo, and Esponja São Paulo; each of these individual outings conflated various creative voices at the same time that they enframed in real time the collapse of boundaries between site and subject, bodies and objects, representation and spectatorship. Such outcome is exemplified, for example, in the haptic displays of mock garments elaborated through the conversational hands of creatives F. Kawallys, Lucas Ribeiro and Alcaide and Tabatini themselves– ultimately presented as stand-in sculptural frameworks of bodies both absent and present. Furthermore, Cobertura’s cooperative exploits continue in a forthcoming publication of writings by Rio de Janeiro based poet Grillo, and in the ongoing and extensive Polaroid sponsored series of portraits realized by the co-creators.
Tabatini and Alcaide are resolute in generating a cohesive platform that serves to amplify the voices of young creatives exploring different mediums and modalities of expression. By enframing both their daily selves and their creative output, Cobertura seeks to enable and affirm an emergent future of cultural praxis and discourse.