The attraction that's garnered the most international attention in Minas Gerais,
I spent a couple of hours there. But you could spend days.
And, according to the latest issue of Budget Travel, it's the trip of a lifetime.
My two favorite installations: The Forty Part Motet, by Janet Cardiff; and Através by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles. The Forty Part Motet is an open-air room in which forty speakers, raised to average human height, are placed in large circle. Each plays a singular voice. The collective sound is that of “Spem in Alium," a choral composition written by Thomas Tallis in 1573. Hearing each voice clearly as you walk around the room in front of each speaker, then standing in the middle and hearing it as a whole is staggering. The sound—resonating from the breezy sun-filled white room—is almost empyreal. I filmed it on my Flip: the video is shaky but the sound is good!
As much as Motet is auditory, Através is visual. It's also interactive. Visitors are invited to enter the installation by walking on the glass shards that coat the floor. Those shards (yes, I walked on them—in shoes) are one of the many barriers you're meant to cross as you make your way to the center of the installation, a huge cellophane ball (other hurdles include barbed wire and a shower curtain). See my video of the docent explaining it here.