Artist: Tobias Madison
Venue: Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: O Vermelho do Meio-Dia
Date: December 21, 2018 – February 2, 2019
Note: A publication associated with this exhibition is available here.
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Video and images courtesy of Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles/Paris.
Freedman Fitzpatrick is pleased to announce the opening of O Vermelho do Meio-Dia, the gallery’s second exhibition by the New York-based artist Tobias Madison. The exhibition is eponymously titled after the 48-min film presented in the gallery.
O Vermelho do Meio-Dia is a portrait of an activist group operating in the center of São Paulo. Shot in August of this year, and edited in September and October, the film’s production and temporality parallel a shift in the political consciousness in Brazil which led to the election of the far-right demagogue Jair Bolsonaro. Whereas during the shooting the possibility of that outcome still seemed highly unrealistic and was met with the respective ridicule, the editing process in Rio de Janeiro was marked by an ongoing demoralization as it became clear that Bolsonaro would be Brazil’s next president.
O Vermelho do Meio-Dia began as a conversation between the artist, members of the collective MEXA, choreographer Luciana Mugayar, and curator Tobi Maier. A container was established in the form of a film shoot and a lot of other people got involved, Musicians, Directors of Photography, Homeless and Friends etc. The translation issues and misunderstandings arising from the situation were integrated into the process. The film became a way to hang out and to ponder upon if it is possible – as a member of MEXA stated in a group discussion – to betray every single image and still be truthful or to abandon that idea in the first place and instead run an anti-fascist program against yourself.
Exhibited alongside the film is a grouping of collages by the artist. Made during and after the shooting of O Vermelho, the practice of collage became a tool for thinking about cinema. Multiple collages feature portraits printed from snapshots taken in the collection of the Pinacoteca in Sao Paulo. These portraits were used as tools for improvisational exercises and then jammed against writing fragments into a quasi storyboard. The Slouching City features a text written by Sarah Wang while observing São Paulo and the film shoot, blended with wanderings, confusions and gossip into a stream of brain vomit that is – in its psycho-geographic logic – decanted into the vintage glass space of a situationist collage.
Do not be fooled: They will privatize every last public holding and sell it off to the Internationals. They will slaughter the Indigenous and de-forest the Amazon, and sell it off for gold-mining and agriculture. They will blink once at the prospect of bulldozing you into the ground if there is any profit to be made from such an act. This is not an ideological program – at least in the way that we understand ideology – but they will nevertheless kill the women, the queers, the disabled and everyone else, as this torture is branded as God’s plan, as a means to re-establish law and order, or to enable economic growth that culminates in them stuffing their pockets and disgusting bellies as they march smiling over a pile of cadavers. They will succeed in making you feel just a wee bit better than everyone else around you and in finding someone for you to look down on to prevent you from looking up and seeing who the real monsters are.
WARNING: This film contains a sequence depicting police brutality in an explicit manner. The sequence starts at 2:20min and ends at 5:10. The footage covers a raid on a zone in downtown São Paulo that is commonly referred to as Cracolandia, a zone in which the use of crack cocaine and other drugs is suspended from legal punishment. The footage was to the crew of this film by the activist group A Craco Resiste, an organization that protects the rights of addicts and homeless in the area.
The film contains further emotional and psychological violence as well as nudity.