Observatório das Transformações XXXX da Cidade de Lisboa

Desbarato

12—2013
In the summer of 2013 we learned through a single press article (in Visão) that all the businesses and inhabitants of an entire block of houses in Baixa (Lisbon’s historical downtown neighborhood) were going to be evicted until the end of November of that year. After a brief investigation that included interviewing the business owners, we discovered that the entire block had in old times been a convent called Corpus Christi. Now, entirely owned by the insurance company Tranquilidade Seguros, was to be transformed into a huge Hotel allegedly going by the same name: Corpus Christi. The size, location and fast speed procedure of this transformation in the heart of city and the lack of clarity in the press around such a big operation made us believe we should call some attention to this matter even if it was for others to investigate by themselves and create their own opinion. With that intention, in December, after the date of eviction of all the inhabitants and businesses, we wrapped the block with A0 posters designed to present the many aspects of this metamorphosis in the city.

 

parte1_fachada2

 

parte2_fachada2

 

parte3_fachada2

Sequence plan of the posters.

 

Eighty five different posters were made and placed during the night on the block front doors, walls, and windows. The next day, press, locals and tourists were photographing the posters while security of Tranquilidade Seguros were busy removing the posters.

 

desbarato_web_05

 

desbarato_web_09

Part of a street view with an on-looker

desbarato_web_10

 

desbarato_web_06

 

desbarato_web_07

 

While some posters presented information like the new renting laws that were imposed by the International Monetary Fund or the city-hall urban plans for the next 5 years, other posters simply advertising “Hotel District”, or “Pizza and Baguette” referring to the massive tourist wave that the center of Lisbon has been subjected to.

 

desbarato_web_08

 

desbarato_web_11

 

desbarato_web_14

On-lookers at night

desbarato_web_13

 

1_img0413

 

1_capitalizacao-desbarato

 

desbarato_web_12

Posting a poster that shows the old architectural technique in which the houses in question were built: a “cage” system.

tumblrmxwdbve1280