A Massacre of Light it is an untranslatable exposition, surrounded by uncertainties, ambiguities, indignation, gaps, erasures. It reopens the debate surrounding the 2016 attack on eight 19th-century sculptures that surrounded the Lake of the Cross of Malta, in Jardim da Luz. In the same square, the oldest in São Paulo, which houses the Pinacoteca do Estado, one of the most important collections of 19th-century Brazilian painting. The attack, apparently without any activist connection, evidences the misinformation of the notion of the public good. Nobody knows who committed the barbarism, much less the authorship of the depredated sculptures, two facts prove the total Brazilian lack of interest in public art.

The exhibition begins when curator Giselle Beiguelman has access to the police report and visits the remains of the sculptures in the park administrator's house. The courage to demonstrate, in this obscure political moment in Brazil, that everything that involves public affairs has to be made public and discussed, makes the show political by its implication and emancipatory by the debate it provokes. The installation takes up the main room of the Solar da Marquesa de Santos and is, according to Giselle, a ready made in a closed context, as she found it in the basement of the administrator's house. “For three years the fragments were protected there, and I decided to assemble the installation exactly as the pieces were arranged in the warehouse. I wanted to reproduce the post-crime scene. ” The unfolding of the exhibition reveals details and confronts the spectator with the various faces of this attack. All the fragments were rescued and are on display, giving evidence that the sculptures can be restored, although there is no expert opinion. The assembly of the pieces and their arrangement on the floor produce the sensation of being suspended over the work.

To understand how a renowned artist in digital art arrives at the topic of historical heritage, we go back to 2014, when Giselle was invited to participate in the 3rd Bahia Biennial, where she did research in the historical archive of that state. “I consider this work a watershed, because until then I had only been involved with digital media. In Salvador, I worked in a place where if you turned on the light, it caught fire, so I reinvented myself”.

Em Massacre of Light, Giselle touches on another face of historiographical narratives and takes up an embarrassing episode for a city like São Paulo, which sees itself as the cultural capital of the country. For the curator, it is the “scar of our bankruptcy with the public space”.

Giselle reignited the debate and documented everything, step by step. “To carry out this show, we created a team of specialists. THE Making off from the assembly turns into a statement of the moment we are living”. The curator closed streets, used two cranes, carried out very heavy works over the portico of Beco do Pinto, a short and narrow passage, next to the Solar. On the stairs of the Beco he set up his second installation, Monument None, another enigma to be deciphered, after all it is not a simple task to give shape and name to the disorder. Giselle focuses on the opacity that crosses the Brazilian public heritage, which translates into piles of pedestals, bases and fragments of missing, stolen or attacked monuments that make up a desolate scenario. These are pieces found by the curator at the Department of Historical Heritage, in Canindé. The fragmented temporality and the attempt to understand the matter can lead the visitor to questions. Why were these parts dismantled? Where are the works they sustained? Why were they discarded?

With few or no traces of its past, these enigmatic fragments emphasize the idea of ​​abandonment. Among them, you can find the horse's hooves that appear on the granite base embroidered with high relief of the well-known monument of Duque de Caxias. Giselle recalls that the base of this work, created by Brecheret, is considered the highest ever made for an equestrian sculpture. "The mutilation took place in 1991 during a clash between police and workers."

In the Canindé warehouse, some postcards were also recovered with photos of the fragments that today become evidence, objects of desire, memory. At Solar, they are arranged in drawers in an archive available to the public who can take them. On the back of them are printed the technical sheets and information about each exhibited piece.

The two installations change the place of art within public memory policies. Here is the art that provokes the debate on memory and forgetting in the public space. The effect that both have on the visitor is one of indignation at the passivity of the contemporary subject, with the successive destruction of Brazilian cultural assets of the past.

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