Concrete Favourite: Waldemar Cordeiro's Esperia Club Playground
Waldemar Cordeiro was a leader in aesthetic research and practices in social experiments within art production in the 50s. He participated heavily in the first biennials in São Paulo and was the pioneer of Brazil’s Concrete Movement. His significant work as an innovative landscape designer is showcased in the Esperia Club Playground.
Developed between 1963-65 and opening to the public in 1966, the Esperia Club Playground is a labyrinth of concrete. Reflecting 20th century industrialist histories, it is a social project about education, children, public space, architecture, sculpture, creativity and institution. Cordeiro's works are often both mathematical and abstract, questioning rational principles and reality. Esperia Club does just that. In comparison to today's play-spaces where digital integration and plastics are used, the Esperia Club Playground is an interesting project to reference not only for its material experimentation, but how concrete can be re-defined within progressive ideologies of fun.
A selection of these photographs can be seen in the Kunsthalle Zürich as part of the exhibition The Playground Project (curated by Gabriela Burkhalter).