Igor Vidor, Reverse goat skull, 2020, digital print, dimensions variable. Coutesy the artist.
Over many years, the incessant violence plaguing the streets of Brazil has found a unique visual expression in the shells that litter the poor neighbourhoods of Brazil, and the bullet-proof synthetic Aramid fiber covering the cars of the rich. Igor Vidor frequently appropriates such materials, produced by European weapons manufacturers and chemists, in his art – remodeling the aesthetics of violence while reporting on deeply personal experiences with oppressive environments, but also on the exploitative structures of trade and profit that echo throughout Brazil’s past and present.
In his exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Vidor specifically investigates the emblematic use of animal avatars, in both the Brazilian military context and the cultivation of heroes in the west. Prints of chimeric beasts, combined from those found in the badges of Brazilian law enforcement, are perched on metal bars. The framework of the metal structure and the wispy thin aramid on which these images are printed reference the meager veil of sanctification that these animal designs lend to bloodshed. Gotham City’s caped crusader, Batman, serves as one of the examples who found his avatar of fear in the realm of the zoological with his appropriation of the bat as his symbol. Vidor references this pop-cultural phenomenon in the print of a speech bubble, sourced from his first metamorphosis in Hero Comics #33 (1939): “I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible…” The transformation serves as justification for the billionaire’s vigilante violence against Gotham’s criminals, and we are even encouraged to cheer him on as he batters his victims. A braid of lead-wire and bed-sheets covered with blood (made in the tradition of Brazilian prison breakers), droops from the ceiling. In this way Vidor kneads the different narratives of the exhibition together. He visualises the struggle to escape the confinements of ceaseless violence interwoven within personal and global conflicts in a state of constant suspension.
19.06. – 12.07.2020
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm