Rio brothers living on the edge

Thu Jul 9, 2009 2:04pm EDT
 
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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Two brothers are giving a new artistic meaning to "hanging out" as they eat, read and sleep on the side of a building in a bustling part of Rio de Janeiro -- to the bemusement of passers-by.

Using climbing gear to maneuver between a bed, desk, hammock and old-fashioned gramophone all nailed to the wall, Tiago and Gabriel Primo have been spending up to 14 hours a day in their "house" on the side of an art gallery since May.

In a city where street dwellers are a daily sight, the appearance of two people living on the side of a building has provoked mixed reactions from residents in the rough central part of town.

"I've heard people ask if we are dolls and then they are amazed when they hear we are real people," Tiago said as he prepared to clamber out onto the wall. "Others are afraid we are going to fall or ask if we have rooms to rent."

The brothers, both artists, said the main challenges of staying on the wall were rain, physical fitness and dealing with drunks who wanted to tell them their life stories at night. The two have to leave the wall for bathroom breaks.

They say the project is meant to challenge people's ideas about living space and provoke reactions from passers-by.

"Is it a protest?" asked Marcos Nascimento, 50, as he photographed the brothers with his cellphone. "If only everybody had the time to do this kind of thing."

(Reporting by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Bill Trott)

 
<p>Brazilian artist Tiago Primo scales a wall in Rio de Janeiro July 8, 2009. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos</p>