Nulo ou em Branco

DE 27/09/2016 - 05/11/2016 A



Galeria Vermelho presents Nulo ou em Branco [Null or Blank], Marcelo Cidade’s individual exhibition, and Fructose, Iván Argote’s new film.
From September the 27th to November the 5th, 2016.

On the opening day, Cidade will release his new artist book, Fogo Fato, collaboration between publishers Edições Tijuana and Meli-Melo Press.

Also happening on Semptember the 27th, Tijuana will host the release of the Cem Terras artist book, by Renata Pedrosa, published by Annablume Editora.

The exhibition’s final day will also feature the release of the Empena Cega book, the first monographic volume entirely dedicated to the work of Marcelo Cidade, with recordings and impressions from his career’s first 15 years. Empena Cega is being published by Editora Cobogó, with Galeria Vermelho and Galeria Continua as partners and organized by Kiki Mazzucchelli.


Marcelo Cidade

In Nulo ou em Branco, his fifth solo show at Galeria Vermelho, Marcelo Cidade presents artwork that continue his research involving the tensions between public and private and the behavior of humans within this crossroads. The selected works propose spatial and temporal intersections relating to social policies and, thus, with the place reserved to the body, activated by the presence or absence of the audience.

Nulo ou em branco

Cidade has used traditional Brazilian voting booths to create the work that lends its name to the exhibition. Built from cut and folded shapes of cardboard sheets, imitating the official voting booths, Cidade’s booth is covered in concrete, forming a kind of “bunker” where the voter may privately make his choice. The work shows the democratic gesture of choosing the candidate that better represents one’s values has become an experience lacking protection and safety.


At Vermelho’s façade we see the Ocitarcomed [Citarcomed] installation (2016), a mirrored spelling of the word democrático [democratic], using protective clamps for exterior walls to build every letter. The typeface alludes to the calligraphy employed by graffiti street artists and, as such, also work as a kind of challenging cypher. Marcelo Cidade is commenting on the current state of Brazilian democracy as something deformed and indefinite.


In the A___________ social series, from 2015, Marcelo Cidade presents images gathered from the Internet showing household break-in attempts. In the images, haphazard burglars are seen stuck in bits of architecture such as windows, chimneys and fences. Along every serigraphed image, Cidade adds aphorisms from the Arquitectura social, três olhares críticos [Social architecture: three critical perspectives] paper, by Luís Santiago Baptista, Joaquim Moreno and Fredy Massad, in which the authors relate essential aspects of relationships and the implications of social architecture in a world fraught with crisis and conflict. Finally, Cidade removes the term “Arquitetura Social” from each axiom, replacing it with a continuous underline, as if waiting for the observer to fill in the gap.

Vende-se para levar

The main wall of the gallery’s room 1 is taken by a huge image enlarged using billboard printing techniques. Taken from the Internet, it shows the abandoned construction of an elevated road in the Brazilian state of Maranhão with apparent underlying Modernist architecture features. The image’s low resolution, enlarged with the bitmap technique, highlights the project’s abandonment and its modern origins. Above the panel, a banner made of tissue advertises: Vende-se para levar [For sale, to go].

Cidade transposes two elements commonly seen in commercial diffusion in the public space - the billboard and the banner - to examine the art commerce, as well as typical elements seen in Brazilian cultural formation.

(un)monuments for V.Tatlin

In the (un)monuments for V.Tatlin series, Marcelo Cidade recreates the Monuments made by Dan Flavin commemorating Vladimir Tatlin, using structures from overlapping lamps for fluorescent lights. While Flavin uses the lamps as a means of questioning the materials’ lack of permanence and, therefore, the systems’, Cidade works with the idea of ruin. In Marcelo Cidade’s recreations, there’s no room for impermanence anymore, only the useless residue of a Utopia plan.

Realidade placebo

In Realidade Placebo [Placebo Reality], Cidade reproduces LSD tabs with scenes from recent clashes between demonstrators and the infamously violent police force. The frenzy brought by the LSD doses are not hallucinations, as the tabs are actually placebos with no actual drug load. Instead of tripping on the action seen in the images, we are faced with the actual facts.

Confortável conformismo

In Confortável Conformismo [Comfortable conformism], Cidade works with instructions that must be followed by the organizer, curator, producer or anyone involved with the exhibition that the artwork will be a part of. In seven steps, the artist describes a process in which an abandoned spring mattress must be found in the city’s streets and then burned, with its skeleton placed forming a 90-degree angle with the wall. The presentation mentions the work Untitled (Double Amber Bed), from 1991, by Rachel Whiteread, in which the artist intended to comment of the situation of London street-dwellers from the early 1990, bringing inside the gallery an object from daily street-dwelling life.

By dissociating himself from the artwork’s production processes (beyond conception), Cidade is making room for chance to take over.

The instructions are:

1) the production of this work of art does not depend on the artist, and may be executed by the curator, producer or any other party involved or otherwise with organizing the exhibition that the work will be a part of.

2) the mattress used in the work must have springs and a metal frame.

3) the mattress must be found in the street of the city hosting the exhibition, and therefore must not be bought.

4) as this object is to be found, the final work has no fixed form.

5) the burning stage may be performed as safely as possible. It is suggested to be done outdoors, using alcohol or gasoline.

6) after burning, the physical iron frame and the springs should be showing

7) after cooling down, the structure is to be transported to the exhibition space and placed, folded, forming a 90-degree angle with the floor and the wall.

Pobre minimalismo

In the Pobre minimalismo [Poor minimalism] series, Cidade envelops cardboard boxes with materials commonly found in buildings – concrete –, thus highlighting the apparatus’ permanence as something that is elusive to the public power and useful to those depending on it. Cardboard has been at the forefront of recent news on the city of São Paulo and the social hygiene process unleashed by the state and local governments on its streets. In a series of recent police operations, under the watchful eye of the above-mentioned authorities, street-dwellers have been forbidden to accumulate cardboard and had the material confiscated.

Cardboard is a common element brimming with symbolic power to the eyes of the inhabitants of large metropolises, especially the homeless population. With cardboard, street-dwellers are able to build shelter from the cold and the rain, creating private spaces in public territory. The bits of cardboard are made into homes and may be traded at recycling stations, known for purchasing it. In resistance movements, demonstrators often wear cardboard sheets beneath their clothes to minimize damage from eventual clashes with the police, such as the impact of rubber bullets.