Matheus Rocha Pitta

Curfew (Hamburg February 6th 2020)

1500* Euro

The examination of gesture plays a central role in Matheus Rocha Pitta’s works. As articulations of the body and language, gestures have far-reaching ethical and political implications. Over many years, Rocha Pitta has amassed an extensive archive of news clippings organized by quotidian gestural expression and place of origin. He arranges the material in multi-layered compositions on poured concrete slabs of different sizes and shapes. With his “petrified” collages, Rocha Pitta constructs stories, memories, and scenarios that reflect authoritarianism, misinformation and injustice.

These editions derive from the newspapers bought by Rocha Pitta the day he arrived in Hamburg to install his exhibition and their titles reflects this particular date in February.The excerpts document an iconic newspaper moment of the Thürigen crisis, which was triggered on 5.2.2020 by the election of Thomas Kemmerich (FDP), who was elected Prime Minister with votes from AfD, CDU and FDP. The election attracted considerable national and international attention because it was the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that a Prime Minister with votes from the right-wing populist and partly right-wing extremist AfD was elected. Already after 24 hours Kemmerich resigned and Bodo Ramelow of the party Die Linke took office.

Rocha Pitta connects the image of Ramelow, who closes his eyes with his hand, with the inscription "See Something”. Gestures of closed mouths open up a multitude of points of reference. The artist plays, for example, with the three wise monkeys of the Japanese proverb, which can be recognized today as emoticons used in text messages. In the West, the monkeys covering their mouths, ears, and eyes are primarily connected to the idea of not wanting to recognize something evil. In their original meaning, however, they stand for morality and humanity. The saying "See Something" is again in direct contradiction to the gestures shown. This creates an ambivalent cycle of action and reaction within the work and with the audience, because in the end it remains open to who is invited to see.

  • Exhibitions:
  • 2020
  • The Curfew Sirens, Kunstverein in Hamburg (S)
  • 2019
  • Cadeira Cativa, Auroras, São Paulo (S)
  • 2018
  • Reintegração de Posse, Casa do Sertanista, São Paulo (S)
    Memória Menor, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (S)
  • 2017
  • O Ano da Mentira e O Reino do Céu, Athena Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro (S)
    To the winners the potatoes, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (S)
  • 2014
  • The Great Acceleration – Taipei Biennale, Taiwan, 2014 (G)
  • 2013
  • Collective Fictions, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013 (G)
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