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Print - O Debates

O Debates

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Brazil (made)

  • Date:

    2004 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lopes, Jarbas, born 1964 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour offset lithograph printed on vinyl tarpaulin, cut and woven; metal staples

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3D, shelf HIGH, box 1L

These poster-based pieces are part of the O Debates series through which Lopes comments on political and social aspects of contemporary Brazilian life. He is skilled at using low-tech, often found, materials. This poster was made by taking the existing poster portraits of two different politicians (made for their respective election campaigns), cutting them into strips and weaving them to make a new composite image. The original posters which Lopes used were designed for display in public places.

Brazil is culturally diverse but has profound social and economic disparities. Voting is mandatory and those who are not registered voters are denied "privileges" such as passports and driver's licences. In his re-worked posters the artist suggests the futility of voting, given that the citizens do not have equal access to education, housing or employment. Lopes deliberately cuts out or obscures any text references to the statesmen's individual identities and himself loses track of who's who. The point is not who they are or what they stand for, so much as their symbolic position as institutionalised, undifferentiated talking heads, with policies which are more of less interchangeable.

Physical description

Interwoven and stapled printed work by Brazilian artist Jarbas Lopes. The image features the combined representatons of two politicians merged to form one face.

Place of Origin

Brazil (made)


2004 (made)


Lopes, Jarbas, born 1964 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Colour offset lithograph printed on vinyl tarpaulin, cut and woven; metal staples


Height: 90.4 cm unstretched, rounded corners, Width: 61.6 cm unstretched, rounded corners

Descriptive line

Untitled vinyl interwoven poster from Jarbas Lopes' 'O Debates' series. Brazil, 2004.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Prints Now: Directions and Definitions by Rosemary Miles and Gill Saunders. V&A Publications. London. (expected publication 2006).

Labels and date

These Brazilian propaganda posters co-opt and re-weave official portraits of campaigning politicians. By merging the images of two political figures, the artist Jarbas Lopes creates identikit political talking heads. Lopes is commenting on the country's compulsory voting as well as the meaninglessness of so much political debate. [September 2005]

Subjects depicted

Ephemera; Politics; Politicians


Prints; Propaganda; Politics; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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