The Fail of Farce

All of the these works by Marcelo Cidade (1979, Brazil) were thought and made in Lisbon in colaboration with local artisans. Those particularities point some questions with special interest for the artist, as well as the problems on authorship, appropration and also on the idea of corruption (as a gesture of changing something). Farce comes in opposite to the truth, as something corrupted. However, the artist movements of appropriation are more moved by the possibilities of the signification of things, then by the interests on the eleboration of the object itself. And this is the Fail: a break, a gap. A space to consider another situation where this social refuses – as the artist names it – are exposed as apropriations from a certain place reordered into the exhibition space. The very derivation of the gallery in a kind of a mechanical factory just as it was once, makes light over that sphere creating a space-between, a post-space.

In a more abstract way, The Annuler, re-using some codes of modern aquitecture adapted to the south-american way of living, and alluding to the Le Corbusier’s Brise Solei, enfazises the same problematization, offering us a doble vision. The sculpture invites the participation of the spectator and masks the identity of who inhabits it. There is a possible cancellation of the private inside the public context. And it is the use of the tile which strengthens this dual sense: in Portugal the tiles are at most part of the private domain, in spite of being an icon of the portuguese buildings adornment; the same happens in Brazil, tiles take part mostly on the private spheres. So, there is a clear intention to locate us into a subverted space.  In that case the way as the artist makes use of certain formal symbols is really relevant to our understanding of this idea. Bodyguard is a good expression of it. The object mimics the handrail of the Bouça neighborhood, in Oporto. There it marks a special presence. The red works in contrast with the white color of the buildings, and functions almost as a signature of Álvaro Siza. So, here in the gallery, it generates a fake ilusion and gains a new meaning as well. What could appear to us as a theft of the object designed by  the arquitect, is in fact an elaboration of a local artisan, oriented by the artist who takes from it all its funcionality and the context of its anterior condition and caracterization.  In Archeology of Neglect the artist repeats the subvertion. The eighteenth century tiles bought at ‘feira da ladra’, of course without any documents proving their historical value, are exposed in a way which annuls their aesthetics and at the same time revealling the remains of the original place where they were taken from. So, the historical weight returns to them, but the social neglect related to the historical patrimony that puts them on the hand of the artist remains somewhere. The thief is financially compensated for its criminal act. This is another way to the break, for the remeaning.  The Great Mesoclises is maybe the more explicit work on this subject. It refers directly to a gramatical strategy used in some political speeches, in orther to fog what is said and to confuse the audience. In the blue tile painel, the explicitation of the criminal act gains a new signification, in this case, a signification with a permanent, an historical weight by being exposed in this traditional way, the way of the comunicative gesture of the painture, which separates it from this confusing rhetoric that diverts the attention. Crossing the entire exhibition, there is also an intention of showing veilled things, and of locating them in a valorative place whithin the collective memory: We Will Try Not To Forget is its main entrace.


Maria Joana Vilela