Daniel de Paula (USA, 1987) gathers several core rock samples that, in Portuguese, are technically called testemunho (testimonial). These are the result of geotechnical surveys; drillings for the exploration and recognition of the subsoil, which are necessary for dimensioning and defining the type of foundations for any large construction. The core samples are composed by layers of rock sedimented over millennia, which form a time-line that ranges from the present day to periods prior to human history.
The “testimonials” collected by the artist come from drillings conducted for public works of urban mobility in the State of São Paulo, such as the subway, motorways, the Rodoanel (São Paulo’s Beltway), among others. These great axes of displacement are the main vectors for the urban structuring, strong inducers of territorial expansion and crucial factors for the formation of land price and use.
For his installation the artist organizes the testimonials chronologically according to their geological age and places them on the floor of the gallery’s patio. By bringing together rocks from several geological eras and from distinct places of São Paulo’s metropolitan region, Daniel de Paula contrasts the time of formation of the earth’s crust with the time of construction and expansion of the city. Clashing two divergent perceptions of soil, one guided by its symbolic value and another instituted by an exchange and negotiation worth.