Gabriel Mascaro mixes cinema and visual arts in his research about body and power

Gabriel Mascaro, PIPA nominee for the first time this year, researches about body and power. Between cinema and visual arts, his works were presented in the 31st São Paulo Biennial; group show “Tropical Uncanny” at Guggenheim Museum, in New York; at the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona, in Spain; MOMA Documentary Fortnight, in New York; group show “First Look”, Museum of The Moving Image, in Nova York; at AB4 – Athenas Biennial, in Greece; 32nd Brazilian Art Panorama, at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo.

Mascaro was awarded two times at the SESC/Videobrasil International Contemporary Art Festival, and took part in important film festivals, such as Locarno, San Sebastian, IDFA, BFI London, IFFR – Roterdam, CPH:DOX, Oberhausen, Clermont Ferrand, BAFICI, Miami and Indielisboa. The artist was also highlighted by magazines Screen International (UK), Sight&Sounds (UK), FRIEZE IndieWire (US), Variety (US) e Cahiers du Cinema (France).

Gabriel Mascaro took part in the Artistic Residency Videobrasil /Videoformes (France) and won a residency at Wexner Center for Arts (US). His works in audiovisual were exhibited in over 100 international festivals.

“This is not about shoes”, 2014. Installation presented at the 31st São Paulo Biennial*

Gabriel Mascaro searched for images registered through the country during public manifestations in Brazil, in 2013 to create “This is not about shoes”. As in other countries, protesters created their own ways to communicate their actions in public territory as an alternative to official press with personal cameras. This documentations were published online and released a rupture among producing and sharing discourses. It also reported the violence acts against protesters performed by the police.

Instead of using their own records or those made by the protesters, the artist was interested by the images under the vision of police officers, inverting the main narrator of the protests and, at the same time, questioning: “How to think the aesthetic, political and copyright postulate of the images produced by the state from their agents, that would be filming with the goal of supervising the public order and search faces for criminalisation?” The game stablished by these two instances – State and citizen – who confront themselves with the same instrument – the camera – reveals another way of empowerment and domination, based on visibility and on the exercise of each other’s representation.

Among the recordings presented by Mascaro, there are lots of shoes images – new elements for criminal proof, since protesters would change their clothes, but not their shoes. The edition brings up a platform to think the power and the fragility of anonymity in current politics, leading the artist to another question: “In a time of anonymous faces, what is to be done with the feet?

* text originally published at São Paulo Biennial website.

Learn more about the artist’s works and career by accessing Gabriel Mascaro’s page.


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