Beto Shwafaty

From Abstract Orders to Material Progress

Sculpture – Cinder blocks, fabric flag, oil paint, bitumen, copper, wood, stainless steel, cotton cord 42 x 100 x 235 cm (approx.). Brass plate engraved in bass relief with automotive painting 60 x 80 cm. 2010-2013

This project evokes some cycles of exploitation and national development, producing a symbolic and pictorial intervention into a national symbol (the flag). If the colors of a flag evoke the wealth of a country through a visual and symbolic construct, the intervention in this element produces and updates aspects of the same national reality on it, creating frictions caused both by the presence of a new visual element on the flag (black color) as the various socio-economic connotations that such visual element evokes in this specific case. The black color can, thus, refer to both the cycles of oil as also to the effects such cycles have on a national imaginary. Along with the sculptural piece, we also see a brass plate engraved in bass relief, which contains archival elements and newspaper clippings linked to oil-related news. Standing between the formats of a newspaper page and a commemorative plaque, this wall piece contextualizes the project in political and historical terms.

Exhibited at:
Galeria Penteado (Campinas, 2010)
PIESP exhibition (São Paulo, 2011)
Mythologies, Cité des Arts (Paris, 2011)

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