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André Komatsu

Andre Komatsu (b. 1978) introduces his work Democracia within a larger series of a brand new serie entitled Noturnos (Nocturnal). 

A dystopic collection of images set within harsh concrete, bring to the fore the mechanics of control exerted by current and past governments to preserve said democratic regimes. While the images portray moments of civil “disobedience” of protests or episodic violence, set to be framed in brute materials such as concrete and discarded wood left at construction sites and containers, the memory of the material’s actual functionality as building foundations also serve to delimit the spatial area of the work and imbue it with irregular forms. 


We are thus confronted with the perceived utopia of modernist regimes.  A prominent sign held at a rally announcing “we are democracy” obliges the viewer to pause and examine the inevitable connection between our own reality and its relationship to democracy. Examples of modern-day governments who unabashedly engage with and flirt with militarist powers, are growing in numbers. Thus one is forced to face the powers to be and their ability to manipulate power, the information disseminated to the public (by negating science for example) and their deployment of various smoke screens that pave the way for the control and manipulation of the public at large. Ideas such as free will and democracy are put into question through social controls. In Democracia concrete shapes work, in a way, as normalizing elements of violent actions shaping and framing extreme situations within familiar forms. One is reminded of Hannah Arendt’s brilliant portrayal of the Banality of Evil and the struggles of keeping our moral aspirations within a less than favorable social and political scenario.

"Noturnos # 5 (Democracia)"

2020

photocopy on concrete, acrylic varnish, vinyl glue and wood

50,5 x 75 x 2 cm

19,76 x 29,56 x 0,78 in