Exhibition by Barbara Marcel
22.11 – 13.12.2014
Barbara Marcel (1985, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
In »Pornographie du temps présent«, the philosopher Alain Badiou describes democracy as the greatest contemporary fetish of the Western world. Rather than thinking of it as a fiction of power under the participation of a demo, or as a form of effective popular sovereignty, democracy is presented by the philosopher as a phantasmagoria of the public liberty based on a political experience limited to a comfortable punctual participation of the great majority.
Inspired in movements such as the Arab Spring, the Indignados of Spain and the Occupy Wall Street, mass demonstrations took to the streets of cities across Brazil during June 2013. The claims were initially against increased costs of public transportation, but soon took larger proportions. The protests were harshly repressed by the state and its militarized security, clearly unprepared for dialogue. During the following months, Rio de Janeiro became one of the epicenters of the Brazilian manifestations and the carnival this year had its most traditional feast turned into another moment of popular political expression. Known for occupying the streets with the anarchy of revelry, pleasures and excesses, suspending laws and orders, transforming characters in costumes capable of temporarily reversing social roles, the carnival in 2014 incorporated critical discourses through the party. Speeches, that ventured into other possibilities of political experience and social participations, challenging in its own way the democratic model and its limits.
The exhibition »Representations« is the result of the artist´s presence in this carnival in Rio de Janeiro, amid the various meetings and experiences with the multitude.
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