‘Weekend screenings’, by MWDM, presents Paulo Nimer Pjota

‘Weekend screenings’, by MWDM, presents ‘Between Philosohy and Crime’ (2017) by Paulo Nimer Pjota.

Between philosophy & crime was shot entirely on a cellphone camera by the artist and presented exclusively on the occasion of his first solo exhibition at Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, titled “The history in repeat mode — image”. The title references well-know academic studies on the power structures behind the concept of what is considered crime, written about by thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault, but they also reference one of the most important rap groups working in Brazil, Racionais MC’s, whose songs denounce the destruction of the lives of young black and poor people in Brazil as a result of racism and prejudice, and the sustained misery that leads directly to violence and crime.

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This work continues the artist’s research into the iconographic structures that comprise the collective imagination of art history and inhabit the universe of mass culture; Pjota exercises the same act of setting to film the constellations of images that surround him and edit this ‘medley’ of shows of rap in an exercise of appropriation and co-relations. The latent aggressiveness of the images is one of the central axes of Pjota’s’ work.

“In my case, this is not only about politics but also an interest in the socio-cultural dimension. Artists often work with the utopian idea of changing the world, that their work is going to reach out to people outside the art bubble, but this rarely happens. I believe in small-scale changes, in the micro-political reach of art, and this is my main concern.” 

– Paulo Nimer Pjota

Exploring his interest in the mechanisms and processes that produce, arrange and share human manifestations in the internet age, Pjota builds narratives that link aesthetic and social differences and intending to reflect on the possibilities that an image possesses. The artist places us in the middle of the image’s cyclical historiography, which reveals how oppressive and paradoxically liberating the power of the image can be.

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