ANTHROPOPHAGOUS BANQUET

(1994)
(site specific)

15F x 8F x 3F

12 channel video installation / wood/ tablecloth/ transparent plates/ tableware/ cups/ 12 chairs + performance

anthropophagous banquet / Republic Museum / site specific - President of Brazil Banquet / Rio / Brazil

ANTHROPOPHAGOUS BANQUET

Video installation

 

 

Palace – Architecture

The Catete Palace, was consecrated as a monument of great historical, architectural and artistic importance. Raised in Rio de Janeiro, then Imperial Capital, it became a symbol of the economic power of the slave-owning coffee-growing elite of nineteenth-century Brazil. Its conception in eclectic style is result of the work of foreign artists. In 1896, the Palace was acquired by the Federal Government to host the Presidency of the Republic.

Also called Eagles Palace, Catete Palace was the scene of intense political articulations, and also memories of moments of consternation and national commotion, such as Getúlio Vargas's suicide in 1954, the outcome of one of the most powerful political-military crises republican In 1938, during the Estado Novo, the Palace and its gardens were demolished by the then National Historical and Artistic Patrimony Service - Headquarters of Republican Power for almost 64 years, 18 presidents used their facilities. In 1960 Juscelino Kubitschek transferred the Federal Capital to Brasilia and the Palace of Catete, became the Museum of the Republic.

At the first floor, the Ministerial Hall served for the president's meetings with his ministers. Its ceiling, in spite of several touches, also presents the original decoration, in which the composition Baco and Ariadne stands out.

 At the second floor, the Banquet Hall was also used, during the period in which Getúlio, as a space for ministerial meetings. On the roof of the hall are stuccoes with fruits, paintings of dead natures in the arches, and the central panel Diana, the hunter.

 This was the scenario, where this site specific video installation was created

 

Concept

In 1925 Oswald the Andrade wrote “manifesto Pau-Brasil” called for a rejection of Portuguese social and literary artifice and a return to what he saw as the primitive spontaneity of expression of the indigenous Brazilians, emphasizing the need for modern Brazil to become aware of its own heritage. To this end, he founded the literary movement known as Antropofagia (“Cannibalism”), a splinter group of Modernism, which, although short-lived, proved influential in its emphasis on folklore and native themes.

Besides the incorporation and transformation of the culture of the other, the deconstruction, the appropriation, deviation, the decolonizing in a perverse humorist way the focus on this banquet is the social irony. Many aspects are present in  this Banquet in each dish, the Banquet by Plato is there in a dish where a explicit sodomy scene create a dialog between androgyny and love. In other dish where a neurosurgical operation process where the face of the person unstick from the head and the person becomes faceless, a dialog between identity and ideology is inserted. Other dish show children that live in the streets showing how people eat people in all perverse senses.

Other dish such a dish made of lights, confront the vortex dish; (a whirling mass, especially one in which a force of suction operates, as a violent activity, irresistible force current everything that surrounds it:

a rapid rotatory movement of cosmic matter about a center, regarded as accounting for the origin or phenomena of bodies or systems of bodies in space)

A mirror with a knife show the suicidal of the president (here the anarchist aspect of the banquet - where a stateless society confront the site specific president banquet's such the ministerial banquet and the president banquet) etc 

In a very complex installation this project have an orgy noise that’s come from one of the dishes where in the end a sexual orgies show how our society operates and articulate.

  

On Gluttony

by Vilen Flusser

 …”Where does hunger end and gluttony begin? Is the difference between them qualitative or quantitative? The problem is not theoretical, but adopts a quality of immediate practical urgency in the current stage of technological development. Gluttony expels the detritus of apprehended, comprehended and subjugated nature: it evacuates instruments. It is in this somewhat repulsive sense that we can state that the process of civilization humanizes nature. Human gluttony progressively transforms nature into the excrement called "industrial park" But gluttony does not stop at this point. It turns against the industrial park it self in order to devour it.

Nature is not the only thing that human gluttony devours. It even devours, for example, human society. It apprehends it, comprehends it, subjugates and evacuates it in the manner of institutions. Another more horrific example is that of human gluttony devouring the human soul.

It apprehends it, comprehends it, subjugates and evacuates it in the manner of Rorschach tests and IQ. Human gluttony devours first that which it is given, and later, insatiable, that which it evacuated. Gluttony is a perversion of hunger. Therefore, how can we distinguish between hunger and gluttony? I suggest the following distinction: hunger is the principle (or one of the principles) by which man integrates himself in the course of life. Gluttony is the perversion of that principle, because it perverts the meaning of hunger. The difference between hunger and gluttony is a difference of direction, of meaning, of significance.

Yet, why should we consider an alternative to our gluttony? The famous word "underdevelopment" gains significance in this context what is underdeveloped? Gluttony. (In passing let it be said that the word "underdevelopment" is monstrous, since it has two1 prefixes that mutually contradict: "under" and "de".)

As a hungry being, man partakes of the animal kingdom. As a greedy being he overcomes his bestial condition. He devours everything. He devours the surface and entrails of the earth. He devours his own entrails psychologically. In a Hegelian manner, he devours his own past through science, he devours his own future. Through the spirit, he devours not only all that is, but further all that is possible. The more he devours, so much more he needs to devour and so much faster. This insatiable and geometrically accelerated devouring is called "progress."

Gluttony is a perverted hunger. lt draws man away from the course of life, empties his "niche" within the hierarchy of life. Man no longer serves as food for the bear, the wol for the lion of the caves, nor will it continue to serve as food to the protozoans and the virus. But life's hierarchy avenges itself lt creates new niches and surreptitiously reintegrates man into his course. Henceforth man will serve as food to his own excrement He will be devoured by his instruments, his institutions, his doctrines and his tests. The teeth, claws and trunks of those monsters are already preparing themselves to grind, tear and suck him. The monsters already rise their heads in "developed" countries. The end of human hunger (which still persists in "underdeveloped" countries) is the beginning of the monsters' hunger. In effect, gluttony is an illusion, and oriental sages were right in stating so overcoming the course of life through gluttony is an illusion. Man continues to be integrated in the economy of reality, an economy "entirely different" to his. His "niche" is fixed. He devours everything "underneath" him and is devoured by everything "above" him, as any other animal on earth. Gluttony causes "everything underneath him" to be equivalent to "everything knowable." But gluttony also causes "everything above him" to include his own instruments. Gluttony accomplishes nothing. It is not an authentic way of over- coming the course of life. For this reason we should search for another alternative…”

 

The site-specific video installation:

 What we call "table" is in fact a tilted plane, four meters long, covered with acrilon and held up by monitors. One side of the table touches the wall, allowing complete and simultaneous visibility of the images passing through the transparent dishes. Twelve different images are served at twelve places on the table. The dishes are transparent and the tableware is special. Along the table are chairs, which are fundamental parts in the banquet because they establish a dialog with their related images.

The images are of kids on the streets, vortex, sex , neural surgery, lights, people, sounds, etc.

This project is in conversation with the suicide of Getulio Vargas, Brazilian President. It was showed for the first time in the banquet room of his house that became a museum.