Tonight is the last night of the World Cup. While all the world seemed focused on football fields, there is another side of Brazil that has remained invisible. Families covered by the dust of the eviction, by desperate cries of the children and an uncertain fate without residences. These are the social and ethnic minorities, illegally entrenched until few weeks ago in some slums, now destructed, that are forced to evacuate and to see their precarious family, even, separated.
And there are two Brazilian artists, Marcelo Cidade and Andre Komatsu, who have always worked on the thin thread of these imbalances of the social and political system. A space of a few moments to recognize something of ourselves: precisely, the capitalist context in which we live in dialectic between security and the failure that is always around the corner.
They use materials belonging to a daily economy and containing a disarming communicativeness. They create icons to which our eye becomes attached. The poverty of the elements may be related to poor art; the unstable geometries and the re-interpenetration of forms to a deconstructionist tendency; the radical critique of prevailing establishment walks on a post-situationist line.
The pyramid of capitalism is analyzed and problematized from the inside.
Recently in Italy the two artists have exhibited at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Siena. The introspective of the small town in relation with the metropolis of São Paulo do Brasil, where Andre Komatsu (São Paulo, 1978) and Marcelo Cidade (São Paulo, 1979) inhabit. It’s inevitable to not recognize a common stylistic and thematic matrix. Then, the direct word of Cidade is next to the whispered period of Komatsu.
The issues crossed by them trace the atmosphere that reigns at this historical and political world juncture; straight out of a page of Rousseau.
Andre Komatsu works on the border between fragility and strength, creates visual metaphors of society; pursues Marxist thought about freedom, not as a choice but as a liberation from “the having”. The metaphor of prison, and the attempt to get rid of it, has been created by using a very long cage with a bulb at the bottom (Febre do Ouro, 2014).
Among the best known and more iconic Andre’s works there’s Base Hieratica: the giants with whom we confronted every day and we combat; glasses and ceramic bowls crushed by concrete bricks. Some glasses do not break, the fracture of others is inevitable. It’s like a class struggle contained within modules. Social imbalances are treated in an indirect way.
He talks about fake accidents, the accidents of the capitalist system with a nail affixed in the wall, that produces a crack: something given as a stable one that instead collapses. We perceive a distortion of reality in his drawings After tomorrow, in an effort to follow the Latin American surrealism, distortion of reality rather than a dream. Cartography as a starting point, to understand and conquer territories of belonging is important to redefine the boundaries of our control. To the question “Which solution to capitalism?”, he answers “the community, thinking and building together as one mind. Each time trying to not become attached to any idea, any time destroying our previous idea to build a new one. “”The conciliation of the special different wills feature a general will, once the common good: Rousseau, in fact.
“The space can be built and the mind can be deconstructed.”
Marcelo Cidade reveals me his faith in art, beyond the institutions, mostly. Always in love with skateboarding, graffiti and tattoos for their being street and a symbol of it. The road on which the artist is located, continuing an idea already started and making another step forward. His love for graffiti stems from an attempt to break the idea of property and maybe even break down the protectionism that stifles the art and industry in Brazil. His attention to the social problems was born during childhood in the family, in the name of populist affair, where what really needs to be defended is the human being. Today he expresses this need for protection with felt and military jackets, however, hung on work tools (o equilíbrio entre proteção e resistência, 2014). He asks: “how can we be protected if we are hanging by a temporary system?”
Marcelo speaks of architectural barriers through the frames made of glazed pieces and sharp shards of mirrors (expansão por subtracao, 2014) which recurred as a security system in the city of Sao Paulo, arranging them on the top perimeter of the surrounding walls to prevent raids. Thus, the domestic surveillance extends outside and the frame becomes the picture. The boundaries doubts. The globalization and fragmentation of political power, in the society of control (Dereito de imagen).
The social structure drawn by the artist brings me to Frankenstein by The Living Theatre, the archetype of change and transformation – failure – and its striking scenery dominated by three-story tall scaffolding made of metal tubes and divided into fifteen sections. The scene of the flight that fails is a symbol of the fall of man in his pursuit of the impossible, in a chain of deaths and violence “it’s impossible, for the human race, to create a New that is not just playing the Old.”
In Espaço-Entre, Marcelo places himself on this dystopian line, maybe not wrong, once again. After Utopia: the freedom offered by creativity before being blocked. The end of the opportunity to give voice to the human right of freedom of expression. But for how long?
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