Three Houses for Humanity: House of Water

Rui Soares Costa, Pedro Campos Costa and João Galante.

→ 28/08/2021

The CASA DE ÁGUA (House of Water) project is the first in a trilogy of installations (CASA DE ÁGUA, CASA DE TEMPO and CASA DE AR– House of Water, House of Time, House of Air) that discusses elements that will condition Humanity in the coming centuries, from the construction of the cities and places we inhabit to the way we live. as a society.

CASA DA ÁGUA is based on the work of visual artist Rui Soares Costa and his RISING project that addresses the consequences of climate change, more specifically the rise in the average level of sea waters. In this work on the representation of time in pieces that seek to capture the way in which this abstract concept can be transposed to visual objects, metallic pieces are placed in the waters of the Tagus River at specific and predetermined heights in relation to the Hydrographic Zero, for a pre-specified time. Each piece will thus be (1) in a location specified by latitude and longitude coordinates, at (2) a specified height in relation to the Hydrographic Zero, for (3) a predetermined period of time (number of days). Due to the effect of the tides, these pieces suspended from different positions on a riverside quay, will be either totally submerged, sometimes partially submerged, or completely out of the water. This effect of the rising and falling of the river water by the effect of the tides will oxidize the pieces differently, drawing in each one, according to its height in relation to the hydrographic zero, the accumulation of time by the movement of the tides in the metal. This equation that computes a set of variable parameters (height of the hydrographic zero, days that the piece is exposed to the variation of the tides, geolocation) aims to be able to be replicated in 50, 100 or 200 years. Pieces with the same size and shape, placed at the same height in relation to the hydrographic zero, in the same geolocation, exposed to water erosion for the same number of days, will give rise to radically different pieces since 50, 100 or 200 years from now , the average level of the sea waters will be different – higher – so the pieces, although at the same absolute height in relation to the hydrographic zero, will be globally longer submerged than those carried out today, in 2021.

CASA DE ÁGUA is an immersive project in collaboration between visual artist Rui Soares Costa, architect Pedro Campos Costa and multimedia artist, performer and choreographer João Galante.


Rui Soares Costa (1981) studied Painting at Ar.Co while he graduated and did research in Social Psychology between Portugal and the USA. Interested in cognitive processes such as people’s memory or the importance of the temporal order in the construction of meaning about others, since 2013 he has worked exclusively as a visual artist. His practice and research are focused on the perception of time, through its suspension, distension and compression. He works closely with contemporary music, and his projects are accompanied by original soundtracks. He has developed an especially close collaboration with the musician and multimedia artist André Gonçalves. Since 2016, he has promoted the Bull’s Eye – Artist in Residence Programin his atelier in Olho de Boi, where more than three dozen artists have gone, essentially international. His work is represented in private collections in Germany, Spain, Holland, India, Portugal, Switzerland, as well as in the Berado Collection (PT), José Costa Rodrigues (PT) and Art Fairs Collection (ES). He is represented by the Galeria das Salgadeiras in Lisbon. Lives and works between Lisbon and Olho de Boi.

Pedro Campos Costa (1972) is an architect, professor, editor and multidisciplinary author. He founded the Campos Costa Arquitetos studio in 2007. He was Curator of the Portuguese Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition_La Biennale di Venezia, with the project “Homeland. News from Portugal ”(2014).

João Galante (1968) artist: visual arts / performance / choreographer / director / dancer / actor / musician. Artistic director of the CasaBranca Cultural Association and the Summer Blue Festival. Co-programmer of the Summer Blue Festival and former co-programmer of the electronic music festival Electrolegos (Lagos). Since 2002, he has worked in partnership with Ana Borralho in the production of transdisciplinary works in the fields of performance-art, dance, theater, installation, photography, sound and video. Frequent themes in the duo’s work: body/mind, inside/outside, me/others, private/public, social/political, gender/sexual ambiguity, erotic imagery, self-portrait. Since 2004 his works have been presented at International Festivals in Portugal, France, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, England, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Belgium, Iceland, Hungary, Sweden , Estonia, Poland and Greece. Of the pieces created together, the following stand out: MISTERMISSMISSMISTER, SEXYMF, NO BODY NEVER MIND, WORLD OF INTERIORS, UNTITLED STILL LIFE, ATLAS, HORIZONTE LINE, ART PISS, PURGATORY, HERE WE ARE, ONLY ONE LIFE …, GO TO DIE LAST, GET TO DIE OF HAPPINESS, FALLING STARS (METAL AND MELANCHOLY) FAMILY ROMANCE OR AUGMENTED REALITY.