Keila Alaver and the creation of a temporary autonomous zone for art

ZAT artists residency sao paulo street art paris

“Zona Autônoma Temporária” was the name of an artistic residency organised by the artist Tinho in January 2016 in Sao Paulo. The idea was to develop a temporary autonomous zone where art was considered a space of freedom, a place where anything could happen, for this, the space was free of rules and anarchy was established.

Twenty-five artists participated in this project where they had to live and breathe art for ten days in a former convent. The artists lived there, they experienced immersion in the artistic processes of other artists. Reflection on art and its place in the contemporary world was the common objective.

What inspired you to develop this art residency?

We organise two groups of studies in contemporary art in my studio in São Paulo and I participated in an art residency in Xucun, China, organised by Xucun International Art Corporation (许村国际艺术公社) last year. Xucun is a very small city and very distant from other more developed cities in China. The weekly group meetings and the Chinese experience inspired me to organise the art residency in Brazil, so that the people who meet in my groups could participate.

In Brazil and around the world there are many artist-in-residence programmes happening, but it’s complex to get involved. Likewise, getting exhibition space for your work is equally difficult to achieve. As I have a background in skateboarding and punk, Do It Yourself has always been a motto for me. So, creating this artistic residence was a natural challenge for me.

How important were the group forums during the early stages of the residency?

The discussions were extremely important, because within an artist residency program, discussion and thinking are as important as the production of work and are also part of the work. As artists, we should exercise not only our technical and manual skills, but also our thinking and cognition skills.

How free were the artists to create work and to use the space, that is, to add work, but also to adjust the physical shape of the space by smashing walls, for example?

The boundary between what could and could not be done was simply respect for the other artists working. The basis of the residence was anarchy, however, the productions each require spaces and the spaces have delimitations. If an artist was occupying a room, this room could not be interfered with by other artists, unless the artist occupying the room so permitted. Taking this limit into account, anything was possible.

residência artística Antonio Dorta ZAT Zona Autônoma Temporária - Sao Paulo - street art parisWork by Antonio Dorta.

Can you explain how the history and architecture of the space has affected the artwork produced?

The place was a nunnery but has since been disabled and now functions as an BB gun battlefield. This battlefield was in full operation during our occupation. So, there was a logic of functionality, where we took turns with the operation of the place. Thus, we worked all of the days and times when the field did not work. During the games, we retired to our living quarters in another part of the building complex, and we waited for the end of the games.

While we waited for the games to finish, we held meetings and talks, so there was no idleness throughout the period of residence.

Of course, all of this affects the artistic creation of each artist. Considering that most of the participating artists also stayed on-site throughout the eleven days, it also helps to understand how this whole environment may have influenced their creations.

How did you select the artists, and what was the group’s dynamic working and living together for eleven days?

The group of participating artists was formed by groups from three different origins: graffiti, street art and skate, underground and contemporary artists with academic training. Having a balanced number of participants from each of these groups was very important for the exchange of thoughts and methods of artistic creation, within the residency program.

Involvement, curiosity and coexistence happened in a very natural way. The early shyness that everyone experience waned and much more intimacy had arisen by the end of the time. I think that by living together in the same space, of having an integral coexistence, without alternatives, as the place was isolated, and with a full schedule, without much space for dispersion, it helped a lot in the capacity for building relationships.

Did you notice any cohesion among the works that were made?

Obviously the ‘big’ link between all of the works was the place itself. The architecture, the environment, the ambiance, and the interpersonal relationships that were taking place.

Many of the artists saw all the works that were being created as unified – as if each individual work were an integral part of a single great collective work.

But there were many works that were distinctly in dialogue with each other, or that were complementary to other parts of the whole.

Some artists chose to develop performance-based work. How did these interventions communicate with the space, and with the work of the other artists?

Every performance is in a dialogue not only with the space where it happens but also with the people who are in the same space. Some performances took place within a limited space, others expanded all over the place, including entering other artist’s spaces.
I think the performances sought to draw attention to the place, what was happening in that place and how that place influenced the thought and creation of each artist that was there.

Can you explain a bit about the community-based element of the residency, how people worked and lived together in the same buildings for eleven days, and the impact this had on the work produced and on the overall experience.

As I said earlier, the general thought was anarchy. There were no rules, no hierarchy, no delegation of tasks. All there was was an architectonic space without structure and small living space with a single bathroom, two private rooms, a single shower, and an electric rice cooker and two-burner stove with a gas bottle, and the people living there, all together for eleven days.

During the first few days there were adjustments, to understand how each person worked and how each one could adapt to this coexistence. With the passing of the days, the harmony of the group, and the will of all to live in an atmosphere of good energy, contributed a lot for the exchanges to be realised and where each one could learn and teach the other about how art and life are connected and how each balances between these two paradigms.

Again, what dictated the rules was respect and common sense that existed in the people and in the situations that were placed.

What problems did you face in the organisation and implementation of the residency?

There were many problems, but each of these problems was solved in a satisfactory way with the help of several people willing to help the project happen.

The first problems were structural. There was no wired electricity, the places were very dirty, we could not have a refrigerator to store food, the place where we would stay had no protection other than the ceiling and walls.

Then we had some problems of occupation of spaces of work, artists’ vanities, organisation of the space of habitation, organisation of food, rubbish, cleaning, invasion of work space of one artist by the others.

There were many problems. Much more than I had calculated. But there was also a lot of willingness from the whole group to help solve each of the problems that presented itself.
Of course, many solutions eventually created new problems, but in general, everything went well, most of the problems were quickly solved and most people did not even notice most of the problems they presented themselves.

Are there more residency projects involving street artists planned for the future?

There is a lot of will. We need resources, people willing to work in this less artistic and more organisational part. We need adequate and large spaces to start a job. If there is help, if the resources come, we want to give an infinite and unlimited sequence to this project.

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Artists who participated in the residency, as follows:


Walter Nomura, originally from Japan but born in São Paulo. Same generation as Os Gemeos. Thirteen years old when he painted his first wall in “pixaçao”. After graduating from Fine Arts in 1994, he returned to Japan for 3 years. Sad, melancholy drawings, people who suffer, little newspaper characters. He wants to express the loneliness of people in big cities, and everything that comes with it like violence and pain. He participated in Tour 13 in Paris, where he painted with Alexandra Loiola. He currently lives in Brazil.



Jack Neto, from Guarulhos. Started in 1996 with “pixacao”, then graffiti in 1999. Trained as a graphic designer at the Pan-American School of Art and Design. He also works in the field of visual arts, fashion and illustration. He wants to immerse the viewer into another reality, to make people dream through shapes and colors.

Shima Shima

Marcio Hirokazu Shimabukuro, lives and works in Carrancas (Minas Gerais) but comes from SP. Education: University of Fine Arts in SP and then industrial design. Exhibitions all over the world, Europe, South America, Japan. Also specializing in videos and installations. He considers his work as a deconstruction of traditional practice, the result can be installations, objects, videos, photographs and also performances. He wants to present common things in an unusual way. Its recurring themes are the factors of identity and belonging, the imagery of contemporary daily life, (how) to be in the world and the permanent state of crisis.

Roberto Bieto

Dreamlike universe. He works by mixing music and the visual arts. Training in advertising at the Cásper Libero school in Sao Paulo. Cosmic references, transformations of nature, sex, family and folklore, sometimes controversial themes. Exhibited at the 7AMA gallery since 2012. Works with music. Originally from Sao Paulo. Seeks to represent a collective imagination. Light, shadow, moving objects are part of the content of his work.

Alexandre Vianna

Professional skateboarder, photographer, journalist, director, urban culture activist. He considers himself a “streeter” (“streeteiro”), that is to say a person who uses the street, the urban planning of cities to live and express himself. Author of a book entitled “Streeteiro” and an exhibition of photographs on skateboarding as part of street culture (2014).

Marcio Ficko

“Marcio “Ficko” Correia, 28 years old, was born and lives in the town of Guarulhos – SP. He began his artistic production in 2002 when he came into contact with the culture of Street Art, developing painting and letters stylized on billboards and then migrating to other media such as canvas, wood, paper and objects. His work is a mixture of techniques based on geometric shapes, pure colors and trays. to graffiti, he constructs letters from shapes and parts, abstract expressionism, expressionism and geometric art. He has participated in various events related to street art in São Paulo and to a few group exhibitions in alternative spaces linked to this subculture. He is currently developing an art workshop at Foundation House where he gives painting classes.”

Coletivo SHN

Hailing from Americana, SP State, SHN is a collective of street artists who use their own screen prints to occupy public space. Their DIY (Do It Yourself) ideology is expressed through collective and experimental art workshops. They became famous through their street events which involve videos, DJs and other artists to create an evolving atmosphere. One of its members, Eduardo Saretta (interviewed here).

Daniel Minchoni

Poet and artist, he creates poetic events in Spain such as “O menor Slam do Mundo”, “O sarau do burro”, “Rachão poético”, “Cabaré revoltaire” and “A peça Literatura Ostentação”. In addition to performances in the field of poetry, Minchoni also presents his work as a street artist in Brazil and abroad, always starting from his relationships with poetry.

Lincoln Lavado Checo

He has been working in graphic design since 1996, providing different media such as advertising materials, magazines, invitations, store decoration. In 2005, he began to become interested in street art and graffiti. Content of his work: influences of pop and punk music; sarcastic, acidic and objective messages.!streetart

Helio Marquess

Photographer and street artist, originally from Guarulhos. One of his works entitled “Drip colors” mixes photography, graffiti and body painting. Famous for his paintings of girls and the use of neon colours.

Helio Marquess Flickr

Luis Alexandre Lobot

By SP, artist from the A7MA gallery. Its influence comes from all the information people receive in a city like SP. According to him, we are surrounded by buses, subways, advertising, television, people talking, radio, the noise of crowds. It tries to represent the great conflict of life in large urban centers, that is to say a city under construction, people themselves under construction.

Michele Micha

Originally from SP, training in advertising and marketing. Involved in various artistic projects such as Pimp My Carroça, Teto e Tinta, Projeto Ecotoy Art, Projeto Fachada- Parede viva. He did research on the external correlations of people (personal conflicts, empiricism…), which greatly influenced him in his artistic work. He plays with people’s will and taste by creating chocolate sculptures that cause aversion.

Daniel Caballero

aka “Freaking Lovely”, is a Spanish digital artist. “Daniel has been passionate about comics and illustration since childhood. He specializes in vectors, trying to find a point between beauty and darkness in his illustrations.”

Saulo di Tarso

Independent visual artist and art curator. Member of the PSB in the SP, he defends the art and culture of the city.

Jerry Batista

Jerry Batista painting - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_2102Jerry draws a character on the wall freehand, with beading dividing the wall into two shades for his installation at the ZAT residence.

Jerry Batista classroom installation ZAT artist residency - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_2446

Jerry Batista classroom installation ZAT artist residency - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_2447

Jerry Batista painting - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris cpt Juliana Maria Cerquiaro
Détail d’une peinture à l’huile faite sur un tableau d’école brésilien d’origine.

Jerry Batista classroom installation ZAT artist residency - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_2458

Jerry Batista classroom installation ZAT artist residency - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_2448

Jerry Batista classroom installation ZAT artist residency - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_2513

Jerry Batista classroom installation ZAT artist residency - street art graffiti sao paulo brazil by street art paris IMG_3410

From Grajau (south of SP), artist from the 7AMA gallery and Coletivo 132. Exhibition “Lembranças e memorias” (Memories and memories) inspired by his childhood in Grajau. Exhibited across Brazil but also in France and Germany. He wanted to convey his Brazilian roots through his work and has always questioned social issues in his country such as inequality.

Marcelo Ruggi

“Tche Ruggi”, one of the founders of studio 132 (2008) and gallery 7AMA (2012) in SP. Exhibition “Enigma” (Enigma) where he gives tangible form to light and shadow with objects and sculptures. Studies at the University of Fine Arts in SP. He paints many colorful 3D shapes, an inspiration that comes from his childhood in Belo Horizonte where he was fascinated by the shapes of crystals and stones.


“Marcus Vinícius aka ENIVO signed a contract with the vital essence of art at the age of 12, during his first experience with graffiti in 1998. Since then he has marked the streets of the city of a stamp of poetry, materializing ideas and feelings through images.”

Enivo Tumblr

Bartolomeu Gelpi

From SP, training in plastic arts at the Armando Alvares Penteado University, art history course. Worked at the SP Museum of Modern Art giving painting classes. Traveled to Italy and Germany. Returning to Brazil, he devoted himself exclusively to painting and was exhibited in numerous Brazilian cultural centers (Memorial da América Latina (São Paulo, SP, 2007), Galera Virgílio (São Paulo, SP, 2008), Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo ( São Paulo, SP, 2008) and Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto – MARP (Ribeirão Preto, SP, 2008)

Antonio Dorta

Originally from Pirassununga (SP), started with painting restoration at the University of SP. Training in visual arts at the Armando Alvares Penteado University of SP. One of his exhibitions, at the Central Gallery of Modern Art of SP, “Inutil Paisagem” (Useless Landscapes) presents various sculptures by the artist showing poetic and intuitive landscapes (2011).

Marcelo Xue

Originally from Ipiranga (SP), visual artist, skater and entrepreneur, has his own skateboard brand, Live Skateboards. Painted with lots of colors and deep lines.

Alexandre Orsetti

Originally from SP, he has devoted himself to drawing since a young age. At thirteen he entered the José Rocha Mendes School of Drawing and Communication. He has participated in various exhibitions such as the “XI Salão Paulista de Arte Contemporânea” (6th Modern Art Exhibition of Sao Paulo), collectives like MuBE, MAC, Casas de Cultura em SP (House of Culture), as well as as well as abroad (France).!alex-orsetti/ct28


She is from SP and often paints a purple female figure, with mixed emotions, symbolized eyes and chest, long hair. A certain feeling of sadness is perceptible.

Sinha online

Victor Zanini

“(1985, born in Londrina-PR) is a multidisciplinary artist based in São Paulo. His production uses drawing as a means of expression, with works that participate in urban space or are presented in the form of drawing and animation.

Active since 2012, the artist has participated in group exhibitions, created “site-specific” works in institutional and public settings, nationally and internationally. He held his first solo exhibition “Matter and Thought” by Sub gallery (2017). His animations “Impulse” from 2018 and “HY Brazil” from 2019 have circulated in various spaces of the contemporary scene”

Felipe Borges

Felipe is an artist who works in the fields of digital illustration, graphic design, art and education. He creates city murals and canvas paintings, and his art focuses on cultures.

André Coletto Inea

Born in São Paulo, where he lives and works, he has had drawing as his main form of expression since childhood and has expanded his practices through the flows of Street Art. André is experimenting with bio-construction in the middle of the Atlantic forest of SP, to settle and live, by applying ecological construction techniques and clean management of resources and their waste in natural cycles. His research focuses on the human being in its habitat and its possible extensions, inserted coherently into the environment. He exhibited his work at the 3 Bienal de Graffiti Fine Art, SP, Salão Nacional de Artes de Itajaí, SC, MAAU, SP, Salão de Artes de Rio Claro, SP.

Simone Martins

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, body art artist (theater, dance, performance), with extensive experience inside and outside Brazil, studies and researches the crossing of languages, performative actions, a future performance which is not necessarily contained in the place authorized for this type of action. Simone has collaborated and/or worked with: Antunes Filho (BR), Gerald Thomas (BR), Théâtre do Soleil (FR), Hello! Earth (DNK), Miyako Kato Space (JP), Yubiwa Hotel (JP), Vigor Mortis (BR), Richard Martel (CAN), artist residency with Les Ballets C de La B (BEL) during the Biennale de Dança de Santos, Ballet Neoconcreto by Lygia Pape (PT and BR co-production), Lote#1 Paz Rojo (ESP) and Cristian Duarte (BR), Play Bauhaus – Torsten Blume (DEU), “Object of Desire” by Nina Wijnmaalen (NDL), “The Dog Needs to Eat” by Olivia Reschofsky (HUN), Multitude project – “Atlas” by João Galante and Ana Borralho (PT).

Fabiano Nunes

Fabiano Nunes known today as Fabiano APCE projects art in nature in a sketch of his memories. Fabiano APCE was born in the far north with his parents who gave him a love for plants.