el grito de los pixadores

January 20th, 2015 § 0 comments

El Grito dos Pixadores (published in Spanish 19/01/2015)

Art Democracy #4

The new movie Pixadores offers an insider perspective on the group that caused polemic in three biennials. Revealing more about this little understood avant-garde movement, the new movie shows the convergence of their art with politics, social issues and how their participation in the 28th and 29th biennales of São Paulo, and the 7th biennale of Berlin caused so much controversy.

By João Correia

Pixação, as per the article “O pixo nosso de cada dia” (Our pixo of everyday), written by one of the most outspoken Pixadores in Brazil, Cripta Djan, is not “just an stylized typography utilized in the city’s public spaces but the expression of a highly organized and conceptually consistent social and artistic movement”.

Predominantly led by youngsters from the outskirts of the big cities such as São Paulo and Rio, pixo is, in their own words “the voice of the voiceless, the scream of the invisible, the practice of a freedom of expression repressed by the false democracy we live in.”

They claim that processes of discrimination – among which the construction of walls is the most emblematic – combined with the fear in the big urban centers are a significant factor for increasing segregation.

High walls represent a failed system, a division, a restriction of access, a permanent cut off of possibilities of exchange. This is a physical, a concrete aggression to their rights; it is a gesture of social vandalism inflicted on them by society.

Pixação, as they see it, is an aesthetic response to the social and physical aggression they endure. What is vandalism for some, for them is re-appropriation. Each signed wall is the conquest of a city that was denied to them, it is an indicator of their class social dissatisfaction.

The Pixador is the urban artist who transcended the canvas and sees the city as the support of his discourse. If their work pleases or not, it is a different matter as they are indeed intended to cause reflection as this is the only path to change.

The urban space strengthens inequalities and social gaps, feature public spaces that may be everything except democratic and sensitive to contemporary thoughts of equality, sustainability and inclusion. “We must transgress to progress”, says the article.

These and other thoughts about the movement are stated in Cripta Djan’s Facebook page which is followed by 15,000 people and archive many of his interviews and articles to the Brazilian and international press such as New York Times, Financial Times and CNN.

In December 6th the dissemination of their message that besides the press already counts with the documentary “Pixo”, went a step further: “Pixadores” Film, a new movie by Amir Arsames Escandari, was screened for the first time in São Paulo featuring the story of a group of four young men Djan, Willian, Biscoito and Ricardo (the “pixadores”).

The movie reveals the insider’s perspective and thought provoking nuances of an activity that brings a singular combination of attitude and aesthetics longed for in the contemporary art scene. It also helps making the voice of an entire social class heard and promoting a better understanding among the different segments of our society.

Being contemporary is being also globally aware of the issues present in the world today, and working towards the removal of the friction between the different ideologies around us. Pixadores take risks and do their share, inviting us to dialogue.

It is down to us to reach our attention to the signs they are giving and do what we can towards truly universal standards to all. Great art is always uncomfortable at first.

João Correia is a São Paulo based art advisor.

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