BIG WHITE LIES, 2020
Video loop installation, 2'19", color, sound.
Sound Design by Rafael Estrela
Sound Design by Rafael Estrela
The video installation is motivated by a critical examination of current social, political, and ecological paradigms and tries to awaken individual consciences, encouraging the reflection on profound future changes. Berlin is a city with an active voice, constantly questioning current models, not only through public demonstrations but also through private gestures, offering the ideal stage for a discussion of values, and the fundamental tools and openness to criticize our society. The artwork idea occurs after reading the book “Plantation Memories. Episodes of Daily Racism”, UNRAST VERLAG, 2018, by Grada Kilomba. A Portuguese writer, psychologist, and interdisciplinary artist, living in Berlin, whose works critically examine racism and post-colonialism, among other subjects. In this book, it is evident that, albeit often in a disguised way, false paradigms are still transmitted today as truths, and there is an urgent need to see the world with a critical sense. This cathartic experience triggers a personal reflection transmitted through this video installation. It is, therefore, a critique of white post-colonial society, so-called developed, and yet, based in an economy of inequalities, of induced power stratagems exploiting people and countries in an unfavorable situation, and based on the unsustainable use of environmental resources. The ongoing technological development, presented as a regulator of social equality, is, nevertheless, used to perpetuate ideologies of the past, and the apparent promising Boom is, in reality, a way of leaving us blind.
The installation aims to draw attention and discuss global issues, with repercussions at local and individual levels. Not only the human tragedy of refugee immigration, the constant violation of human rights throughout the world, the inevitable reality of climate change, but also the growing acceptance and strengthening of the far-right policies, such as in Germany the Alternative für Deutschland, that put at risk social and democratic values, namely, the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. The installation is presented at the festival in the form of a video, depicting a three-dimensional structure, in which moving images and repetitive sounds similar to mantras surround the viewer, creating an increasing atmosphere of introspection, motivating states of meditation, and seeking to capture the moment of self-awareness.Two appropriation states are present in the installation. In the first part, looking at the performance staged by two blindfolded characters, the observer has the growing sensation of becoming the protagonist of the action, until disturbing flashes of images appear, followed by total darkness, allowing a complete immersion in the experience. The flash images are intentionally distorted and inverted. They are negatives, alien to the reality of the characters presented in the video. They work as an instrument to generate a feeling of anguish in the viewer. Rather than pointing exact issues, they intend to allow free interpretation, alerting to the fact that we all have a vital role in a future change.