Martin Ogolter


Citizen project

o pais do futuro (the country of the future)
Limited Edition 1 of 1 Size: 59.1 H x 157.5 W x 0.8 in

In the right context, repetitions can be a beautiful thing – or to put it another way, less can indeed be more. So the tradition of the so-called „Three questions“ – an easy way of finding out what it is that drives artists in their work – seems a natural fit for Coeur et Art. Accordingly we will be asking artists, curators, designers, writers and other creatives three such questions in future. 

Consider the three questions as a catapult into the mind and viewpoints of the protagonists. All you have to do is read, watch the images arising before your inner eye and let your heart go vroum

As Pablo Picasso once said,

Everything you can imagine is real.

Martin Ogolter, Self Portrait x 2
Martin Ogolter, Self Portrait x 2

The (few) tourists visiting Zone Norte in Rio de Janeiro they will most likeley go to see the samba schools or the famous Maracanã Stadium. Also the architecture of the houses is older than in Zona Sul and one can see endless variations of facades with the typical glazed tiles in this poor working-class area. Where the houses of the favelas on the hills stop the rainforest takes over immediately.

But if you go further into the suburbs, deep into Zone Norte, that is an area you won´t find any gringos.

The suburbs of Zona Norte is a rough, buzzing urban area with a unique, chaotic beauty, where the African heritage is part of everyday life. The fabulous and proud individuality of this heritage within the youth culture is presented in this series by Martin Ogolter. The Austrian photographer lives in Rio de Janeiro since 2003.

Authentic and raw, carioca realness at its best!


1. Aesthetics and Process aside, which emotion you want to trigger with your work and why?

Of course, stimulating contemplation is a goal. During this process of thinking and seeing there is hopefully some sort of feeling of kinship with other humans and nature. The world is an endlessly complex place so I suppose sometimes it’s good to try to minimize the noise.

2. If you could change something in the art world, what would it be?

Culture is very important but that does not mean you have to be full of yourself. I guess being kind to others goes a long way, the question about the art fairs system is to complex to get into here but hopefully, there will be changes.

The future is..?

Part two of the limbo we are in between past and future

ABOUT the Citizen project by Martin Ogolter:

The famous ocean sides neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone are known the world over and are the picture postcards of the city if not the country as a whole. About 35 kilometers inland, in the North Zone of the city, far from the famous beaches these are the suburbs and the hottest neighborhoods of the city. Decidedly working class there is no tourism to be found here but there is a vibrant scene of youth culture and underlying creativity. Despite the tiny bikinis seen on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro the culture of the rich, “white” South Zone is inherently conservative and conformist with a eurocentric view of representation. In the suburbs of the North Zone the picture is another, here the countries african heritage has historically been part of everyday life and individuality is celebrated. The mainstream representation of the poorer parts of society in Rio focus on the favelas and violence, this installation of 110 quase formal portraits focuses on the joy, energy and pride of residents of those suburbs who are usually left out of the local canon of visual representation on TV, the visual arts and the news media.

Author: Esther Harrison