The exhibition The Sad Savages by Pedro Barateiro gathers a series of Indian-ink drawings, a book and an installation. This is the first part of the program the artist is developing for this new artist-run space in Lisbon. Each of the eight artists who run Parkour is presenting a 2-month program. The second part of Barateiro’s program will feature a series of talks and screenings around the discussion of mediums and languages in the production of subjectivity in art and its relation to the concept of pleasure.
The Sad Savages are three inter-linked works. The group of Indian-ink drawings uses certain aspects of comics and its humorist tone references some more or less well know forms, such as an the Amazon symbol. Another piece, a book edited by the artist, gathers a selection of texts including The Sad Savages, but also the tale The Country of Chimeras, written in 1862, by Brazilian writer Machado de Assis, as well as a Wikipedia entry for The Wild Duck, the theatre play written in 1884 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and finally an essay by Argentinian economist and São Paulo University researcher Aída Quintar on the work of Italian philosopher Antonio Negri. A selection of images by the artist accompanies all texts. Finally, the third work presented in the exhibition, titled The Production of Desire, is an installation composed of 2 sculptures, in which objects such as a chair intersected by a cardboard box, serves as theatrical elements for a background made of a screen-like sculpture and a dry palm leaf.
The text The Sad Savages starts with a quote from a recent article that appeared on the newspaper concerning a serious plague affecting palm trees in Portugal, also spreading in South Europe, caused by the red palm weevil, a beetle who’s been reported to attack 17 different kind of palm trees. The text is a deconstruction exercise of the title, separating the words sad and savages, punctuated with other news taken from written newspapers, intended to situate the reader in the current historical moment. Here’s an excerpt of the text: “On the limit, is our desire to make the world bigger or smaller? Why are palm trees a symbol of desire? And is it for that reason that they are being burned? Do we need to be even more or less violent? Who are the barbarians of today? Maybe the stock brokers of Wall Street who Paul Krugman blames for the current economic crisis?”
30 June – 21 July 2012
Pedro Barateiro, “The Sad Savages”, installation views, Parkour, Lisboa. Photographs: Bruno Lopes