SOURCE: Emerging Collective

Emerging Collective

February 04, 2016 10:00 ET

Emerging Collective Fuels the Discussion on Global Inequality With Exhibition by Pixacao Artist Cripta Djan of Brazil

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - February 04, 2016) -  Pioneering artist Cripta Djan, of Sao Paulo's polemic guerrilla art collective +Fortes, will introduce the Pixação movement to the USA. Entitled "From the Periphery to the Center," the program will be hosted by the art NGO Emerging Collective in New York and New Haven, at Yale University. The exhibition will include works on canvas from Djan's Manifesto series and a multi-film installation of action shorts.

"Inequality is not just a feature of emerging countries these days. In fact, inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing 1929 on the eve of the Great Depression," said Raj Udeshi, founder Emerging Collective. "Bringing Cripta Djan, an outspoken leader of the Sao Paulo periphery, to New York, helps amplify his message on inequality. We are bringing that message to the international stage right when it's needed most."

Pixação, an urban activist art-form, is about developing a political consciousness for those on the periphery of Brazil's biggest cities, to give them a sense of citizenship that they otherwise lack. Pixadores, the performers of this art, retain their outsider mentality, and their work is visible proof that society is not healthy. "Pixação is the muted scream of the invisible," said Cripta Djan, an authentic voice of the movement. "We are the underground scribers from the periphery that use the city as a support for our art."

In Brazil, as in the United States, a status quo middle/upper class lifestyle creates problems in the periphery that many of us are likely ignorant about. The central idea of the Pixação movement is to give courage to people from the periphery to act, to give them a voice -- to which all who are interested in a better functioning society must listen.

The origins of the movement can be traced back to the very beginning of protest art in Brazil -- it was citizens writing political statements on city walls during the military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985. Today, where the peripheral population lacks traditional political identity, linked to a certain geography, Pixação affords them a conceptual state -- comprised of visual expression, rituals, aesthetic codes and a common purpose.

"The critics of Pixação are missing the point. They are focusing on the marks of the skin instead of reflecting on society's underlying cancer," said Joao Correia, Brazilian art specialist and agent of the artist. "The need for such a potent form of existential promotion is something we should learn from."

Emerging Collective holds vigil for the Pixadores' courage and perseverance, supporting their art in an uphill battle for integrity and Brazilian cultural change in the face of the prevailing corruption and lack of representation. These issues are not only Brazilian, but global.

Cripta Djan chose to work with Emerging Collective because they share a similar understanding about what the world needs to hear. In the 21st century, art should have a role to play in changing culture, and not just be art for art's sake. With Brazil suffering through a depression in between World Cup and Olympics hosting duties, the world is watching.

New York Exhibition

The New York program will expose what lessons the contemporary art world can learn from Pixação, including institutional critique, alternative mechanisms to search for artistic originality, and the inner workings of a functioning offline social network.

The exhibition will run from 11-17 February 2016, with an opening gala on Thursday, 11 February. Emerging Collective will also host a screening of Amir Escandari's award-winning documentary "Pixadores," released in November 2014 by Helsinki Filmi and The Yellow Affair, to be followed by a Q/A with both the artist and director, on Sunday, 14 February. 

All programming will take place at Exhibit C, 88 Eldridge Street, in the LoLo district of Lower Manhattan. Support for the exhibition has been provided by Espolón Tequila, The Creators Project, and AL Consultancy Logistics.

Yale University Program

Emerging Collective will also offer a day of programming on Pixação at Yale University. This forum will articulate a refreshed perspective on Pixação and present findings of recent field research on the movement's artistic framework. A panel discussion with the artist, Correia, Escandari, and Brazilian Art Historian Debora Faccion will focus on the place of Pixação within the wider contemporary art context. The panel will be followed by a screening of "Pixadores."

"We want to help shed light on the intellectual value of Pixação, challenging University notions of who counts as a scholar and an artist," said Alina Aksiyote Benardete, a student organizer of the program. "If it was just vandalism or scribbling, then we wouldn't invite them to Yale."

The Pixação program will be held at Yale's Loria Center, on Sunday, 07 February, beginning at 5:30pm.

For photos and more information on "From the Periphery to the Center," please visit www.emergingcollective.com

About Emerging Collective

Emerging Collective is a non-profit art initiative aiming to bridge the First World and Global South divide through the prism of art. Dedicated to art activism, Emerging Collective produces art exhibitions which further political dialogue across northern and southern hemispheres. Emerging Collective aims to catapult the most courageous work to the forefront of the global art scene and promote activist artists as agents of cultural change.

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