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May 13 2009 4 13 /05 /May /2009 12:48

For the first time in United States, the Brazilian based artists Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg, sharp analysts of the society, are exhibiting at the Americas Society from May 12th until August 1st, an occasion for considering the others.

Walter Riedweg, a Swiss born artist, started in 1993 to work with the Brazilian Maurico Dias; since then, they both live in Sao Paulo and create specific video works,  installations and performances regarding to their sociopolitical environment. Helsinki, Tokyo, Barcelona, Paris, Liverpool, Shanghai, Havana… their creations reknown all over the world.

Their purpose is to explore the relation between different groups, focusing on the one who are always forgotten, disregarded. Through videos, they catch the marginalization of the everyday life and displace our look. Therefore, their works act as a revealing of the otherness, both politically and poetically.

For instance, the video ‘Os Raimundos, os Severinos, os Franciscos”, made at the occasion of the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1998, is a sort of witness of the realization of the exclusion, examining the visible and the invisible. It directs janitors who enter one after the other in a small room of an apartment. Each of them starts to make their own daily task, totally ignoring the others. This video refers to the people coming from the poor region of the Nordeste in Brazil. They are disregarded by the local population of Sao Paulo and are becoming invisible to the rest of the society.  In Paris, they explored the immigration topic, in relation to the high number of immigrants in this city and its suburbs. 

Each time they are invited in a new city, they base their work on an accurate study of the environment. Then they try to understand and catch some kind of uneasiness inside the society and to open up to the people who are never looked at and considered. The video, as a moving and poetic image, should, for the duo, be used as a critical tool for contemporary thinking and promote a fluid dialog with diverse communities.

For the exhibition at the Americas Society, which gathers their works from 1993, some videos will be displayed outdoors, in order to create this communication between, for instance, the quarters of Harlem and the Bronx. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication that includes essays by John Handhardt and Gabriela Rangel and an interview between the artists and Paulo Herkenhoff.

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