Homo Homini Lupus 2015 

At my 1st Year at University, I decided to produce a sculpture with old appliances I had in my house. I invited the artist Christina Friedricksen from my class to join me in the production of this sculpture. Together we made the piece called Homo Homi Lupus, that was related to common subjects we both were researching about. This piece explores the repercussions of the technological frenetic we experience in contemporary society, as well as to demonstrate the relationship of power, and consequently violence that seems to permeate the virtual world and most relations between men in society.

 

Homo Homini Lupus "Man is a wolf to man.", is a popular Roman proverb by Plautus (dead 184 B. C.). Thomas Hobbes later used it in his "De cive, Epistola dedicatoria" stating that ‘Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations.’ MURDER!

 

Bárbara 2013 - ongoing | clay sculpture encrusted with beads

O Futuro Repousa (The Future Lies) | 2017 | MDF, newspaper, wood, foam and masking tape | 175 cm x 110 cm 

This sculpture started as a very small project but suddenly became a major piece which I develop between February 2016 and finalized one year later. The whole sculpture is made only using newspaper, foam, wood (armature) and masking tape and covered by thousands of about 3 cm pieces of MDF.

 

The concept: Life-size sculpture of a child with arms that grow as tree branches symbolizing hope and growth. This piece is inspired by the favelas, and proposee especially to discuss the issues around the murder of black youngsters in peripheries of Brazil and the world. This sculpture wants to allude to the importance of these children for the construction of the future of Brazil, and the necessity to bring to light conversations around structural racism and its devastating consequences.

 

In a favela we observe an organic and complex social network, those people have prevailed in a fantastic way, creating with little a practically self- sustainable environment. When Brazil became a Republic in 1889, the administrators of Rio de Janeiro wanted to erase the traces of a once colonial state so important documents regarding slavery trade in Brazil were destroyed. The excuse was that “they wanted to erase this shameful period of our history”, erasing this way the possibility of making responsible those who were involved in this cruel scheme.

 

The tree symbolizes growth, hope and the sculpture is made of cheap and affordable materials. This sculpture is built intuitively and organically, in the same way, people from communities across Rio and Brazil use innate and logical intelligence to build their homes. With 2 million people, the favelas from Rio de Janeiro would be the 7th biggest city of Brazil (O Globo, 2014). There are 763 favelas in Rio de Janeiro with 22% of its population living in those spaces. 

Raízes do Brasil (Roots of Brazil) | 2018 | Real dress for base, Papier-mâché, MDF  | 146 x 88 x 140 cm

In May 2017 I started the construction of an 18th-century Baroque dress that again has inspiration in the painting Carlota Joaquina, Infanta de España, Reina de Portugal. I covered this dress in thousands of small pieces of MDF as seen in the sculpture The Future Lies I produced last year for my 2nd Year at the university. This dress is made to scale to fit a 10-year-old child, the same age that Carlota got married to Dom João VI and instead of ascending branches seen in The Future Lies sculpture, the dress is stuck in the plinth by roots that contaminate the whole space it occupies. The roots represent the conservatism and reactionary ideas, that ground themselves instead of trying to reach for new horizons. This sculpture entitled Roots of Brazil was initially going to be shown in a glass box alongside The Future Lies. This glass box would represent a physical and symbolic space from where it was made impossible to cross, making a chance for dialogue forever compromised.

 

‘In 1936, Sérgio Buarque de Holanda published "Roots of Brazil", a book that offered a sociological and psychological perspective of Brazilian society as well as having a political objective, where the author tries, through our past, to see our future. This is an innovative book with regard to the pursuit of the Brazilian national identity, and Sérgio Buarque goes after what we could call the essence of the Brazilian individual. Throughout the analysis of the country's colonial history, the author builds a historical panorama that comes from the Portuguese colonization and the legacy of a completely unstable political, economic and social structure of patriarchal families, finally originating our national identity.’

Initially, as mentioned, the idea was to have The Future Lies and Roots of Brazil were going to be exhibited together, in the allusion of them trying to engage in an impossible dialogue, those two works presented together would be entitled The impossibility of Discourse. And the main reason why I decided to produce Roots of Brazil portraying Carlota as a child, was as well in relation to the piece The Future Lies.

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The fact I am depicting children is for understanding their immense capacity to reinvent, question and reshape their minds. Until they are, inevitably, exposed to familiar, cultural, educational and social norms and start engaging themselves in the reproduction of pre-established values/discourse. 

 

I started working on this piece around May 2017, and throughout the months, the concept had to be reevaluated a number of times. Especially once the term started and I had the chance to speak to tutors about the idea, finally opting for not using the glass box. I understood that this feature could be misinterpreted and it was unnecessary in order to contextualize the piece, or conveying the main idea.