O Debates

Print
2004 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Colour offset lithograph printed on vinyl tarpaulin, cut and woven; metal staples
Brief Description
Untitled vinyl interwoven poster from Jarbas Lopes' 'O Debates' series. Brazil, 2004.
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. The beared politician featured is Brazil's President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva.
Dimensions
  • Unstretched, rounded corners height: 78.2cm
  • Unstretched, rounded corners width: 71cm
Gallery Label
These Brazilian propaganda posters co-opt and re-weave official portraits of campaigning politicians - in cluding Brazil's current President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva. In creating identikit politcal talking heads, the artist comments on the country's compulsory voting as well as the meaninglessness of so much political debate.(September 2005)
Credit line
Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund
Object history
Historical significance: Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva was born in 1945 in Pernambuco, Brazil. His childhood was difficult and he grew up in poverty with little formal education. Da Silva's long political history began in the 1960s when he first became active with Brazilian labour unions after serously injuring his hand while working in a factory. By the late '70s he was a prominent spokesman during a series of strikes (1978-81) and a co-founder of the PT. In 1986 he was elected to the house of representatives and in 1989-1990 he made his first of three unsuccessful runs at the presidency. He won Brazil's 2002 Presidential election, leading a coalition of parties behind the Partidos Trabalhadores (PT, the Labor Party).
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Prints Now: New Directions in Printmaking by Rosemary Miles and Gill Saunders. V&A publications. London. (expected publication 2006).
Collection
Accession Number
E.488-2005

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record createdOctober 21, 2005
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