Benches, Stairs, Ramps, Ground serves as a meditation on the object as landscape through a modernist lens. Developed during a two-month residency in New York, Paiva’s new body of sculptural work dwells in the idea of the playground. Made of industrial materials, the work draws on the formal qualities of urban furniture such as park benches, hand rails and staircases. Skateboarding is used as a tool to draw, mold and destroy the pictorial. Paiva simulates degradation on the sculptures by applying satellite images of the earth as texture, and then allowing skaters to act upon the materials as they might in a city park. The abstracted landscape gets obscured and reshaped by the action.
The misuse of the urban terrain and its furniture leads to the fabrication of skate parks with similar features. The skate park is the planned antidote for a practice in which the main goal was to discover performative qualities in the geography of the city. The unknown and unpredictable behavior is confined to a controlled environment. A fabricated objectified landscape that is perceived through movement rather than contemplation.
The artist draws inspiration from the writings of Michel de Certeau and Iain Border, questioning how one usurps his or her quotidian surroundings for alternative means.