Vera Cortes

Alexandre Farto

10 Jan - 21 Feb 2009

© Alexandre Farto
“Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat”

Vera Cortês, Art Agency

Opening January 9th at 22h
From January 10th to February 21st 2008
Tuesdays to Fridays from 11h to 19h
Saturdays from 15h to 20h

Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils) is an artist who has been building an artistic path in which an intense plasticity, a provocative and direct social and political thought dynamically converge. Although many of his works feature direct and clear slogans and statements, the political statements in his work subvert the idea that the political dimension is revealed through communication – here, the political dimension is something to be made: starting from now, from the first minute, from the very moment in which desire creates an image. This strength that is intrinsic to his work is the result of the artist’s own development: a life story associated with the observation and intervention in the urban space, as a silent worker that recognizes and emphasizes the humanity claimed, hidden or crushed by each surface – since the
beginning of his career, Alexandre Farto has focused on a systematic work that involves the
meeting of two universes that are increasingly growing apart: the city and its inhabitants –
anonymity becomes a mirror.
Alexandre Farto previously developed a body of work about the face – to give a face, the gift of a face, the face as the limit and the place of violence and regeneration -; his present work features a sort of return to his initial starting point: the city – the common place, where faces are diluted and are constituted on the basis of an abstract system that creates standard individuals – the place where the common and the community are continuously becoming almost irreconcilable concepts. We might say that now the face of the city becomes the subject of a work that emphasizes the human density of which it is made; the weaknesses underlying its relationships, its paths; and the directions of the looks and words that meet every day in each non-place. To return, or rather, to reconfigure the city as a place – a relational, historical place centered on identities (M. Augé). To transform the issue of giving a face to, of creating places, into a question that is latent in every object and element of the city – places can be transparent, they can give passage from one to the other, they can allow the entrance of unexpected inhabitants, strangers to their planning and administration. Alexandre Farto presents his first solo exhibition at the Vera Cortês Art Agency. Faced with the only too evident questions about the exhibition space and the intentions of his work, Alexandre answers with the disquieting simplicity that characterizes his work: this is also a space of the city, and we can excavate its walls until transparency has been attained or, at least, until they are porous enough to allow for the entering individual.
«Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat» - the power over the other is an illusion that results from the opacity of the walls we place around us.

Cíntia Gil

Tags: Alexandre Farto Aka Vhils