This collection draws inspiration from traditional Brazilian folklore, the construction of national founding myths and important political figures in Brazil. In an anthropological sense, founding myths would be the imaginary solution to smooth social tensions and find ways to navigate them, while the founding myth in its etymological sense refers to the story of legendary deeds of a community. Because they refer to an imaginary past moment, founding myths remain alive and present in the course of time. Under different meanings, myth can repeat itself indefinitely and present itself crystallised in the imaginary and praxis of society.
These allegorical works are infused with sarcasm and elements that will resonate in the Brazilian imagination. The aim of this collection is to propose a deeper reflection on the themes portrayed, our own ancestry with the Original people and the issues that can occur when we do not have a clearer understanding of our own history.
Vitória-régia (Dilma Rouseff) | 2019 | collage and ink on paper | 21,0 x 29,7cm | available
This legend originates from the Tupi-Guarani people, and says that at the beginning of the world, if the moon liked a young girl, she would turn her into a star. Naiá, daughter of a chief and princess of the tribe, was impressed by the story and chased the Moon wishing to be transformed into a star.
One night, in tears on the banks of a lake, Naiá saw the image of the Moon reflected in the waters. Thinking that the moon had finally come for her, Naiá threw herself into the waters and was never seen again. The moon decided to transform her into a "Star of the Waters", the Victoria Regia.
In the collage we see 16 vitória-régias that represent the years that the Labour party should have governed in Brazil if not for the anti-democratic process of impeachment that took place. In the image, Dilma appears resting gently on a Victoria Regia, a reference to the famous painting, The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli), where the female figure appears romanticised and presented as an ethereal being.
Finally, this collage depicts the exact moment Rousseff arrived at the Esplanade of Ministries for the presidential ceremony. The presidential sash has been added to the image, and it goes on to affirm Dilma Rousseff's legitimacy in wearing it.
The legend of the "Sack Man" or "Bag Man", talks about a mid-aged or elder drifter who visits households in search of naughty young children for him to carry away with him, in his sack or bag.
In this collage, the background is a painting by Francisco Aurelio de Figueireido Mello, called Corcovado from 1892. The famous and hilarious picture of Flavio Bolsonaro, where he appears wiping his crocodile tears with a Brazil flag is also in the piece. The whole work is frame by oranges. In Brazil, this word designate, in popular language, the person who voluntarily or involuntarily intermediates fraudulent financial transactions by lending his or her name, documents or bank account to conceal the identity of the person hiring him or her.
According to Rio's public prosecutor's office, Fabrício Queiroz, who is Flavio Bolsonaro's former advisor, would have made suspicious moves of R$1.2 million. Queiroz had disappeared since the scandal about these financial transactions became public. Consequently, a huge campaign "Where's Queiroz" appeared on social networks, and in my work, I also refer to the famous character Where's Waldo.
Velho do Saco (Fabrício Queiroz) | 2019 | collage and ink on paper | 21.0 x 29.7cm | available
Corpo-seco (Sérgio Moro) | 2019 | collage and ink on paper | 21.0 x 29.7cm | available
The story says that Corpo-seco was so cruel that he was not even buried after his death, because the earth itself, disgusted, vomited his body. So he wanders with his rotting body, still full of hate in his heart, hurting all those who cross his path. In 2015 Sergio Moro became famous for running Operation Lava Jato, which was a high-profile corruption scandal involving private companies and politicians in Brazil. Operation Lava Jato paved the way for the construction of the anti-Petista narrative that was so important for the growth of Bolsonaro's popularity, for the (evidence-free) arrest of Lula and for consolidating the impeachment of Dilma.
Sergio Moro appears emerging from dry ground, in a reference to Brazil's northeast. This area of the country is particularly neglected and exploited because of its natural resources. Moreover, the Northeast region was crucial in not allowing Jair Bolsonaro to win in the first round of the elections (Nordeste Gigante). We can see in the background, Bran Castle, famous for being the former residence of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired the character Dracula. Bolsonaro and Sergio Moro appear smiling side by side.
Conveniently, Moro was appointed as Minister of Justice by Jair Bolsonaro after his victory in the election. The work is framed by the colours of the Brazilian flag, surrounded by hands of zombies, representing the many supporters who seemingly without the slightest critical sense, still continue to support and defend both individuals.
Based on a Spanish-Portuguese legend, Jair Bolsonaro appears here embodied by the beloved character Donkey from the film Shrek, making an allusion to the (possibly mistaken) association of this animal with low intellect. In this collage we see Bolsonaro's supporters and some small tub ducklings representing the famous symbol of FIESP.
In the midst of the demonstrations in favour of the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, a pilgrimage of thousands of fervent believers (and in defence of military intervention), among others, dressed in green-yellow revered the Fiesp duckling that not long after, became associated with the mass of Bolsonaro's faithful. In the upper part of the image we can see the Amazon Forest, burning.
Brazil's National Congress is contaminated by the colours of the US flag, representing the (utopian) American dream that has become a desire for many who support the current government. Bolsonaro's four sons are here dressed as the Metralha Brothers and each one refers to an Article of Law: Art. 174 (Abuse of Power), Art. 171 (Crime of Stipulation) and Art. 288 (Gang Formation). Finally, the work is framed by WhatsApp icons, and represents the FakeNews spread in this election.
Headless Mule (Jair Messias Bolsonaro) | 2019 | collage and ink on paper | 21.0 x 29.7cm
Curupira (Luís Inácio Lula da Silva) | 2019 | collage and acrylic on paper | 21.0 x 29.7cm
Also known as Caipora, Caiçara, Caapora, Anhanga or Pai-do-mato, all these names identify an entity from Tupi-Guarani mythology, a protector of forests and wild animals, who is represented by a dwarf with long red hair, and with his feet turned backwards. The famous 1981 photo May Day March, São Bernardo do Campo (SP), depicts Lula being carried by supporters.
On the other side of the piece, Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva, who was his partner for more than three decades, watches him and protects him with a calming gaze. The collage depicts many animals native to the Amazon, as well as a famous image of Oxóssi (the proterot of the forests and animals according to the Yoruba religion). This image of Oxóssi is from a painting by Nelson Boeira Faedrich.
In the background another famous work, The Dream of Henri Rousseau, from 1910. The work is framed with Swords of St. George, and this plant is known to be an amulet that can be used in various ways, it acts strongly against envy and to ward off people who are malicious.
This work comments on the unjust imprisonment of Lula, as well as celebrating the many social policies implemented during his government that improved the lives of many people in Brazil. His worldview took into account, for example, the importance of demarcating the land of the original peoples of Brazil, understanding its impact on the conservation of life and the ecosystem.
PINDORAMA EXISTE E RESISTE. All rights reserved to Sabrina Collares, 2021.
PINDORAMA EXISTE E RESISTE. All rights reserved to Sabrina Collares, 2021.