Matheus Rocha Pitta presents his new show, “The Curfew Sirens”, at the Kunstverein, in Hamburg, that features eight new sculptures called Sirens. The artist’s work is focused on the examination of gesture, which is believed to have far-reaching ethical and political implications. The show can be visited from February 15 until May 17.
Over many years, Rocha Pitta has gathered news clippings organized by quotidian gestural expression and place of origin. The material is arranged in compositions with multiple layers on poured concrete slabs of different sizes and shapes. As explained in the exhibition’s press release, “Rocha Pitta constructs stories, memories, and scenarios that reflect and resist different forms of authoritarianism, misinformation, exploitation, and injustice”. Concerning the show’s title, it is said to be a play on the multiple semantic levels involved in the works, and “curfew” is borrowed from old French and means “to cover” as well as “fire”, referring to a protective plate for putting out fire: “It originated in a time when an evening bell would serve as a reminder to cover embers in the home to decrease the chance of cities catching on fire. On a textual level, Rocha Pitta consciously extends his Sirens to attributes shifting between state control and protective gestures” (show’s release).
The gestures selected for “The Curfew Sirens” are considered in relation to the urge that comes from social media and the Internet to constantly express opinion, communicate and stream, which is also accompanied by an increasing surveillance mindset. Each sculpture is holding two selfie sticks with cell phones made of stone, and, on the screens, it’s written: “Hear Something!”, “See Something!”, and “Say Something!”. The artist also observes how violence is progressively being used to strengthen public discourse, and, in this scenario, the exhibition is supposed to be a moment of pause and balance.
“The Curfew Sirens”, solo show by Matheus Rocha Pitta
From February 15 until May 17
Klosterwall 23, 20095, Hamburg
Tuesday to Sunday, from 12am to 6pm