Upstairs
Renata Lucas, Upstairs, 2018

Inaugurated two days before the second round of the presidential elections and called by the
organizers of the “show-manifest”, Rejuvenate! is an exhibition that is not afraid to take a side when it comes to defending democracy and rights in Brazil. Produced by artist Renata Lucas, the exhibition conta was conceived in a few weeks, as a matter of urgency to position itself in a troubled moment in the country's history, featuring works by artists Anri Sala, Arto Lindsay, Carla Zaccagnini, Carlos Fajardo, Nedko Solakov, Mauro Restiffe, Renata Lucas and Rodrigo Andrade. Other artists who endorse the initiative, although they still do not have works installed in the space are Dominique Gonzalez Foerster, Iran do Espirito Santo and Micol Assael.

Still not having an established time for its closing, Rejuvenesça! proposes to be a progressive exhibition, adding works that reach its exhibition space. The idea is built with the intention of characterizing a point of resistance both for the artists who propose to participate and for the space itself.

Casa do Povo was willing – and still is willing – to carry out a series of initiatives in defense of the Rule of Law, in a clear position against disastrous times that seem to be coming, as Renata says in a letter of introduction: “The most voted in the first round of the presidential elections embodies a fascist discourse, whose main banner is to recover one of the darkest moments in our history: the Brazilian civil-military dictatorship (1964-1985)”. The candidate cited by the producer is Jair Bolsonaro, elected president of the Republic for the next four years.

The continuation of the exhibition for that time not yet determined indicates, therefore, a way to fight against unreasonable proposals from the now president. In the introduction, Lucas also criticizes the exemption of art agents in relation to this moment: “The current edition of the Bienal de São Paulo, as well as several institutions and art galleries, sought to remain neutral in the face of barbarism, behaving like if nothing happened around you.”

Therefore, in addition to marking a position at this juncture, Rejuvenesça! also proposes to think about the direction of art in a new government whose base of support caused the two episodes most unfavorable to the maintenance of artistic freedom in recent years: the boycott of the Queermuseum exhibition and the defamation of the artist Wagner Schwartz for the performance La Bête. Added to the president-elect's worrying statements about art and culture, these events cause great apprehension in the middle.

After all, he is the one who always points out that artists take advantage of the incentives given by the government and who said, about the fire at the National Museum: “It's done, it's already caught fire. Want me to do what?” Therefore, the contempt of some in relation to what the election of this candidate represents could mean obedience to some repressive principles of his government plan in relation to culture and art. Renata also writes, in the letter-manifesto: “In opposition to this cynical indifference, we, the artists who present ourselves here, created an exhibition that had the solidarity of Casa do Povo, a democratic space that understands art as a critical tool within a process
of social transformation”.

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