Seja Marginal, Seja Herói

October 19, 2008

Seja marginal, seja herói  gathers for the first time in France 14 Brasilian artists, and underlines the diversity and the breaking of the artistic scene of a high-boiling country. At this occasion, three of the artists invited will stay this summer at the Cité des Arts, thanks to CulturesFrance's support, to prepare the year of France in Brasil.

By presenting these artists today, we don't pretend to show a coherent and exhaustive overview of the Brasilian scene. On the contrary, we aim to show an exploded sample, as to underline its diversity. And this diversity is above all visible through these artists uniqueness, each having a specific and unique approach : from Mariana Manhães' organic machines to the transgressive art of Marcelo Cidade, from the modern vanities of Marco Paulo Rolla to the Jarbas Lopes' wicker bycicles, from the painful meditations by Mauricio Ianês to Matheus Rocha Pitta's mendicant horses, from Luiz Zerbini's luminus paintings to Sara Ramo's children games, from the discrete architectonic interventions of André Komatsu to the Henrique Oliveira's giant recycled wood structures, from the identity games of Dias & Riedweg to the Laura Lima's carnival masks and the nature, never really domesticated, of Thiago Rocha Pitta.

There is no school, no group, no slogan.

This might deceives the curious person, searching for a brasilian emerging scene. But differing from what we get of "emerging scene", differing from the chinese and indian exemples, Brasil has an artistic production which has always exchange with the european aesthetic forms. It is then a "false" emerging scene, where the only emerging aspect is the interest for it. The conceptual couples "developing/emerging", "old/new", "center/marginal" are destroyed. It simply is a different scene on another continent ; an ancient scene, developed and diverse.

Diversity of the artistic approachs, but also diversity of the geographic origins - Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais - and generational diversity - while Luiz Zerbini is a member of the Geração 80, André Komatsu belongs to the young Sao Paulo generation. The presentation of this diversity is the best portrait of the brasilian contemporary creation. And this is this diversity which allowed us to gather three galleries as different as the Galerie Natalie Seroussi, the Galerie Vallois Sculpture and the Galerie Georges-Philippe et Nathalie Vallois.

And yet, by gathering 14 artists under the Helio Oiticica's injunction in 1968, Seja marginal, seja herói (Be original, Be a hero), we transform this explosion in a watchword, this diversity in a characteristic, this effervescence in a will of being and of being different.

Seja marginal, seja herói. The edge is at the center.

In 1984, an exhibition in the Parque Lage of Rio de Janeiro gathered 123 artists and gave a face to what will become the Geração 80. In 1985, the military dictatorship ends. Followed many attemps of authoritarianism, of neo-liberalism, of social-democraty ; but all in a democratic context, a context of opening and of a progressive liberation of speach. In these conditions, the brasilian scene deeply modified itself. If our exhibition has a goal, it is the one of gathering, 25 years after Geração 80, with members of these last 3 decades, a few of the directions that followed and follows the brasilian scene, each direction sketching a path, all of these paths forming a labyrinth, labyrinth where the spectator is invited to loose himself, to loose his landmarks to replace the edge where it belongs, that is, in its heart, where is the unique and true heroism.

Benjamin Seroussi