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Installation composed of 14 index fingers, cast in bronze and welded on rods that resemble silencers used in firearms to muffle the sound of the shot. The fingers were copied from 14 different people aged between 7 and 93 years, with the height of each rod being the same as the height of each person’s mouth. The arrangement of the rods in the exhibition space must be at least 1 meter apart, allowing the public to pass between each silencer, which must meet the approximate height of the visitor’s mouth. The 14 silencers are exposed within a circular area of approximately 6m in diameter lined with gravel. As the audience moves and walks on the gravel, the sound of the rubbing of the stones makes “shhh”, a sound that we make when we place our index finger at the height of our mouth asking for silence. The number of fingers/rods and the size of the work can be adapted to the exhibition space.

Silenciadores, 2020. Arte em Campo. Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brasil

Arte em Campo

The free event proposes an art circuit through the Pacaembu Sports Complex, with sculptures and video installations by important Brazilian and international artists.

"Arte em Campo" is an opportunity for the population to revisit or get to know the iconic equipment in the city of São Paulo, which was closed during the pandemic year (when it was replaced by a field hospital) and is preparing for modernization works in the beginning of 2021. The route takes place on the football field, tennis courts, swimming pool, and slide, outdoor or large and airy spaces, following all safety protocols due to Covid-19.

With the participation of 53 artists from 25 galleries, it is collaboratively organized by the concessionaire Allegra Pacaembu and the cultural producer VIVA Projects, and an exhibition by Alvaro Razuk in collaboration with RADDAR, an architectural office led by Sol Camacho. The event rescues the complex's original pillars of culture and leisure, which will be resumed in the new public-private partnership project.

Silenciadores, 2020. Arte em Campo. Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brasil
Silenciadores, 2020. Arte em Campo. Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brasil
Silenciadores, 2020. Arte em Campo. Estádio do Pacaembu, São Paulo, Brasil
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Presently, life (is) political

 curated by Diego Matos - Central Galeria 2020

Silenciadores, 2020. Central Galeria, São Paulo, Brasil. Foto: Maya Messina
Silenciadores, 2020. Central Galeria, São Paulo, Brasil. Foto: Elisa Canola

Presently, life (is) political 

“Possibility is content, potency is energy and power is form. We call possibility content inscribed in the constitution of a present world, immanence of the possible“. ¹

To search the material evidence of the past, questioning it; reframing symbols, norms, and 
traditions, giving visibility to bodies and actions that are on the margin; disalienate quotidian 
practices, seeking spaces for collective activation; requalify the notion of work as an emancipatory experience, battling precariousness and controlled hyper connection; question oppressive norms of power, and also responding to the wishes of others; evidence the subject and body involved in daily life, contributing to a restructuring of the social body and, finally, taking back the public character of art. These are prospects of action made possible by the production of ten artists gathered in the collective exhibition At present, life (is) political. 

In it, art is the protagonist of the urgent themes of democratic life, as well as a qualifying device for the implications of the body and the individual in the social fabric. There is the idea that art work is an agent of change that fights for the disengagement of language and affections, and can help us clarify the impasses of the moment and even imagine new understandings for the future ahead. 

Ten artists - Bruno Baptistelli, Clarice Lima, Dora Smék, Fernanda Gassen, Fernanda Pessoa, Gabriela Mureb, Gustavo Torrezan, Marília Furman, Paul Setúbal e Rafael Pagatini – carry out research, strategies, essays, statements, records and forms of action in the present, permanently reflecting on the possibility of a politicized, collective, and libidinous life, which does not let itself end and which does not wait for the promised future of the narratives of the purifying religion, of the neoliberal economic bonanza and of the veiled belief in the limiting ways of operating the democratic and liberal politics. Therefore, it is understood that art is a way to link life to its essential quality of politics. 

Such perception comes from the provocations arising from contemporary reflections, especially from the powerful writing of Franco Berardi. In his text, speaking of our time as a moment after the future dreamed of by the utopian constructions of the last century, he brings us the concept of futurability: “the multidimensionality of the future, the plurality of the futures inscribed in the present and, also the changing composition of the collective intention” ². In a way, all 24 works displayed throughout the gallery are based on experiences thought of through the continuous reinvention of conviviality and survival in the present time. Therefore, they are speculations for a future, constantly giving rise to the imminence of the possible.

If we are experiencing the catastrophic consequences of the acceleration of the Anthropocene- the pandemic can be an example of this- it may be due to the challenges of thinking and artistic practice that we will be able to remove the sense of impotence in the face of the permanent crisis in which we live. The mechanisms of art can even revive conflicts, dissensions and antagonisms necessary to the public sphere, something very well punctuated by Chantal Mouffe when bringing an agonistic perception of democracy to the public debate ³. 

In fact, contemporary art production can and should be the place for the construction of uncomfortable experiences with political consensus. And it is, to some extent, on this discomfort that the works presented are based.  It is important to note that the exhibition takes shape in the already historic corner building of the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil – Departamento de São Paulo (IAB-SP) (Institute of Architects of Brazil- Department of São Paulo), a place that holds significant memories of a cultural ballast of resistance and innovation in the city. Occupying the building’s basement and mezzanine, contaminating common areas, and signaling to the street, some works end up relating physically and symbolically to the place; others, in turn, gain power though context or promote friction with the political and cultural history that emanates from the space.  


// Diego Matos


¹ Two publications by the Italian philosopher and writer, professor and cultural agitator Franco “Bifo” Berardi were recently released in the country by Ubu Editora: Depois do futuro e Asfixia: capitalismo financeiro e a insurreição da linguagem. (After the future and Asphyxiation: financial capitalism and the insurrection of language.) The first is the epigraph: BERARDI, Franco. Depois do futuro. São Paulo: Ubu Editora, 2019. p. 179.

² Ibid. p. 182.

³ This perception of the politician as an inevitably antagonistic, polarized, and plural expression appears in an instigating way in the publication translated into Portuguese by this Belgian philosopher and political scientist: MOUFFE, Chantal. Sobre o político. São Paulo: WMF Martins Fontes, 2015.

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