Dora García - Be an outlaw, be a hero
"Cara de Cavalo (Portuguese for "horse face") was 23 years old when they shot him dead, with more than a hundred bullets. His body was then covered with a sort of flag with a skull and two shinbones, the symbol of the death squads. Cara de Cavalo was a friend of Helio Oiticica, as he was a friend of many people in the favelas of Rio. Helio Oiticica said that, apart from their personal friendship, Cara de Cavalo represented for him an "ethic moment". He was the symbol of the individual rebellion against the system of repression and oppression, he was the bandit. Crime is, like art, a desperate search for happiness and completeness, a defiance of the destiny embossed upon someone by society. And then, the artist is a criminal as well, someone who must take distance from his expected audience of correct leftists and compassionate right-wingers, someone who has to push the limits of the audience's paternalist tolerance to what cannot be tolerated any more. Audiences are tolerant with artists, to a certain point. This tolerance irritates artists: "I don't want any break in the world, I want justice" said Lenny Bruce to the judge. Justice!
A 1968 concert in Rio featuring Gaetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and the radical group Os Mutantes was censored by the authorities because of the inclusion of a banner, made by Oiticica, reading "SEJA MARGINAL SEJA HEROI!" (Be an outlaw Be a hero!). Subsequently, the musicians went into exile in London. The banner bore as well an image of the outspread corpse of Cara de Cavalo."
The text above is a fragment of the scripted performance "What a fucking wonderful audience" (Crowd series), by Dora García for the Sydney Biennale this year. This work, together with the video-performance work "Just Because Everything Is Different It Does Not Mean That Anything Has Changed", and the video-game "GAME", present the figures of artists, comedians (Lenny Bruce) and psychiatrist-terrorists (Wolfgang Huber) as those who produce the "delinquent narrativity in a society" (yes, Certeau), the place where poetry and political awareness can finally meet.
Dora García (Valladolid, 1965) studied Fine Arts at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Holland. She lives and works in Brussels, and her particular field of interest deals with the creation of situations or contexts that serve to alter the traditional relationship between artist, artwork, and spectator. Recently she had presentations at the 16th Sydney Biennial, Tate Modern, and the Institue of Contemporary Arts, London.
Just Because Everything Is Different It Does Not Mean That Anything Has Changed, video, 2008 (still image). What a fucking wonderful audience, script and photograph, Crowd series, 2008