“That’s what São Paulo’s streets try to do to those who use them: convince you you’re somewhere else, in a hopeless attempt to alleviate the tension and inconvenience of being here, the discomfort of living in the present and of being what you are.” (Bernardo Carvalho in ‘The Sun Sets in São Paulo’)
uring the many traffic jams that I’ve been part of over the 17 years that I’ve lived in São Paulo, I’ve noticed, on countless occasions, a state of fleeting absence which seems to take hold of whoever is stopped next to me. Sometimes, mid-trance, our eyes meet and, as if in recognition that we’ve broken with urban etiquette, we both seem to feel discomfort at being discovered and at discovering ourselves there, living the present, and the same desire to be transported to another place, another time… In a way, this is an portrayal of the city that is imprinted upon my imagination. So, hoping to surprise what has surrounded me everyday for so long, I decided to hide a camera in the back of my car and, thanks to this subtle shift in perspective, attempt to reveal a reality hidden beneath the guise of the ordinary. I started to observe the activity inside cars which, like our thoughts, seems to unfold in a parallel world. Within that confined space, lives are lived – plans are made, dreams are dreamt, intimate emotions rise to the surface – navigating from one place to another, both geographically and psychologically. Despite this apparent privacy, however, what should supposedly envelop and protect us like a shelter is in fact more like an open-air stage, separated from the audience by a thin transparent membrane, a mediator between two realities. Through the greenish tint of windscreens, the lives of drivers and passengers – like those of fish in an aquarium – are exposed and observed unbeknown to them.