Fabio Morais - Simile- fac

DE 24/01/2012 - 25/02/2012 A



The idea that culture (History) exists as a facsimile in each individual is found throughout the set of artworks that make up the exhibition símile-fac by Fabio Morais. In the title, the inversion of the Latin term fac-simile – “to make the same” – subverts the order between the two words to suggest a possible hierarchical change between original and copy, past and present.

Admitting culture as one of the routes by which history touches the path of each individual, the series Didática de ensino para si mesmo (in progress) [A Didactics for Teaching Yourself (in Progress)] (2011) makes use of printed materials like technical books, postcards and notebooks to compose posters that re-signify terms such as otherness, utopia, dystopia, everyday life, the vanishing point, and others. Each one of them functions as a map that proposes a random, clandestine and personal meaning for precise and socially established terms.

Dynamics employed in the school are present in the work that provides the title for the exhibition – símile-fac (2012). In it, some pages of a notebook written in French in the 1960s, found in a flea market, were copied – or “facsimilized” – on the blackboard that occupies one of the walls of the gallery’s hall 2. In this way, Morais destabilizes the normal procedure used in elementary schools where the student copies what is on the blackboard, in this case copying on the blackboard what is in the notebook and thereby twisting the hierarchy between copy and original, private and public.

The artwork 36 (2011), a multiple in the format of a newspaper that will be distributed at no charge during the period of the exhibition, reproduces the cover of the 1964 edition of the magazine Manchete that announced the military coup which toppled the government of President João Goulart. Inside the newspaper, however, Morais reproduces the first article published in the Brazilian press on Tropicalismo, in April 1968, in the magazine O Cruzeiro. 36 also includes a text in the first person, written by a fictitious character who is steeped in history and yet simultaneously aims to be at the margin of it.

In the installation Projeção [Projection] (2012), created with fifteen 8-mm pornographic films from the 1970s, piled against the wall, Morais makes it impossible for the observer to see the images, turning the films into simple objects bereft of the transformation of projection, thus suggesting the brevity of the techniques when compared to the subjects and themes that extend through decades.

In Antilla, an installation created for the 8th Bienal do Mercosul, in 2011, Morais crosses political history with art history. The work consists of 42 posters made based on photographed maps from the Atlas de Cuba [Atlas of Cuba]. Published in 1978 by the Cuban government in homage to the 20th anniversary of the revolution, each map in the atlas has a theme, such as topography, geology, rainfall, economically active population, political facts, colonization, etc. The images were made as though the maps were landscapes photographed from an aerial angle, and this fly-over is reproduced in the circular configuration that Morais chose for setting up the installation. This configuration also refers to the classic form of land art practiced in the 1970s, which used fragments of the natural landscape – stones, soil, driftwood, etc. – while Antilla is made up of fragments of the representation of the landscape: maps.

Most of the artworks featured in the solo show símile-fac appropriate materials, facts, references and images taken from the 1960s and ’70s, an initial period of postmodernism that profoundly influenced Morais’s production.