The main exhibition space of the show cracks, the art triennial organized by Sesc in Sorocaba, is a garage. What could represent a certain contempt for contemporary art, hiding it in a sector that regularly houses automobiles, proves to be a wise strategy. The high ceilings and the large spaces without walls provide the works with an adequate reception, while the somewhat marginal aspect of the place has everything to do with the theme of this year's exhibition: “Between post-truths and events”.
Post-truth is the technical way of referring to rumors intentionally created to spread false truths, that is, they arise from somewhat “invisible” places, such as garages, to spread lies. Since 2016, when the Oxford Dictionary chose it as the word of the year, “post-truth” has become an object of study and debate.
So, point to Daniela Labra, the curator of Frestas, who brought the issue to the field of art, a perfect place for the debate on language. In this sense, many works point to this moment of true fatigue, when not only the discourse on social networks, but also the great communication vehicles are in suspicion.
In the show, the work that best summarizes this issue is “The Year of the Lie, 2017”, by Matheus Rocha Pitta. In it, a 365-day calendar actually prints only one date on every day, April 1, with images of popular demonstrations. A better image is difficult for those who read the newspaper daily and are faced with news that, even when true, seem to be lies, given the disgrace in their content.
Therefore, the show's political tone is obviously high, as the moment actually calls for, but not always so explicit. Mexican Teresa Margolles, for example, appears with a collection of jewelry, made up of 18-karat gold and glass shards extracted from murdered bodies, rather than diamonds. Here, the violence involving drug trafficking seduces, as much as the lines of cocaine that pack a hypocritical society, which condemns the cartels, but consumes their products.
There is a character of urgency in “Frestas”, which is perceived not only by the theme, but also by the nature of the works: more than half of the 60 selected appear with works commissioned by the Triennale. With this, artists produce in the temperature of the present time, and Sesc plays an important role in the scene, which is also to be a space for promotion and not just for exhibition.
In this sense, works that deal with the city of Sorocaba are also highlighted, as in the almost naive procedure, but with a great plastic effect, by the Cuban Reyner Leiva Novo, who assembled a huge panel with used toothbrushes, exchanged for new ones with residents of a neighborhood of the city.
More political is the intervention of Maria Thereza Alves, who researched traces of indigenous communities in the region, but the only record found was a mortuary urn in a city museum that is not accessible to the public. From this context, she created the project “Um Vazio Pleno”, for which the indigenous ceramist Maximino Kalipety, from Dourados, made replicas of the urn buried in points in the center of the city, among them the foot of the statue of the pioneers Baltasar Fernandes, founder of Sorocaba.
It is with works like this that Frestas gains special relevance, creating a real dialogue with the city, and not just showing works that speak of the present, in a generic way. Even large-format works, such as those by graffiti artists Never and Panmela Castro, were carried out in buildings in the city, he also dealing with the indigenous issue, she with female empowerment.
By creating such an experience outside the capital, Sesc contributes to the fact that the most radical contemporary art is not only seen in large centers, but also the Gorilla Girls, who are seen there in a much more dynamic way than at Masp, by the way. It is from this type of commitment to the context that post-truth can be fought and avoided.