Film POP and the Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art present:
We Are Our Subcultures
In between documentation of performances and videos, Estás vendo coisas/You are seeing things by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Wildness by Wu Tsang and I’m No Longer Here (on Netflix) by Fernando Frias, this program offers readings of past cultures of division like social class and spaces, that have shaped our sense of “now”, and a culture of reappropriation across subcultures that articulates our many possible futures, through resistance and performed identities.
In Wildness, by Tsang, the notion of a safe space is tested and challenged in produced images and documentation of events at the Silver Platter, a Latino Los Angeles LGBT bar. In Estás vendo coisas/You are seeing things, by Wagner and De Burca, the actors are members of the Brega scene in Brazil, shedding light on social class through pop music. We are including I’m No Longer Here by Fernando Frias to be watched on Netflix, which depicts the Kolombia subculture in Monterrey (MX) into a reappropriation of cumbia: cumbia rebajada, a strong music movement in the 90s.
The juxtaposition of art and life in this program make subcultural worlds accessible with the participation of members of these very communities and how these modes of expression, incorporating them into their contemporary lifestyles, while self-consciously layering their respective historical and geographical landscapes get appropriated. Colliding the trope of the music video alongside documentation of performances, the performers and members of different communities in this program show us their respective realities as well as an image staged for the camera, documenting what represents them, and setting into perspective spaces created by the artists, and appropriated by the actors.
Estás vendo coisas / You are seeing things
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca
I’m No Longer Here (on Netflix)
Fernando Frias, 2019
on Netflix 1h 52 minutes
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca
Bárbara Wagner (1980, Brasília, Brazil) and Benjamin de Burca (1975, Munich, Germany) are interested in the space documentary and art both share. Their more recent investigations concentrate on collective practices and traditional rituals specifically manifested in the body of youths living in the peripheries of Brazil’s Northeast which lose their connotations of symbolic resistance to become products of tourism and entertainment industry. Working in collaboration since 2011, Wagner and de Burca participated in the 33rd Panorama de Arte Brasileira (São Paulo), 36th EVA International (Limerick) and 32nd São Paulo Biennial. They live and work in Recife, Brazil.
Wu Tsang irremediably addresses issues of gender and more broadly of society. Whatever the chosen mode of expression (cinema, photography, party or performance), a theme is repeated as a leitmotiv: the drag queen aesthetic and the game with the genres. Often with her own body, Wu Tsang seeks to sublimate the traditional representations of desire and the proximity with the other. According to her, "to be queer surely makes more courageous". The artist made her name in 2012 with her film WILDNESS, presented for the first time at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight. WILDNESS presents a portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar located in East Los Angeles, that has hosted Latino / LGBT immigrant communities since 1963. The film questions representation and sharing of a safe space and a free space, two major notions of feminist emancipation. Wu Tsang exhibited at MoMA, Tate, Whitney. In France, she made for FIAC 2016, in partnership with Swarovski, a monumental installation that echoes a scene from The Wizard of Oz. She has received several nominations, the most recent are the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2016) and the MacArthur Genius Award (2018).