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Paulo Simão (PT)

The series "Erased" evokes Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased De Kooning Drawing, reframes the archive and invites us to a myriad of questions and reflections by manipulating a set of images from the US Library of Congress.

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    © Paulo Simão, Erased Lincoln Statue, 2021

By the intervention of isolating the plinth, Simão creates a kind of anti-evocative monument.

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    © Paulo Simão, Erased Joseph Henry Statue, 2021

What do we do with monuments that already exist in public space, which evoke and celebrate historical events that are anachronistic and collide with a contemporary and humanist vision of society? How do democracies deal with their colonial or imperial past and history? What is the role of schools, educators, cultural agents and the media in today’s society? 

The series invites us to reflect on the difficulty that political actors face to get closer to citizens, in a world with less and less mediation and how misinformation is the perfect environment for the growth of populism.


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    © Paulo Simão, Erased Major General John Fulton Reynolds Statue, 2021

Paulo Simão (b. 1973) works as graphic designer and photographer; Phd in advertising by IADE; Finished in 2017 the Advanced Level of Photography (2013-2017) from Ar.Co school in Lisbon, Portugal.

Read Paulo Simão's project description here

In Erased (2021) Paulo Simão evokes Erased De Kooning Drawing by Robert Rauschenberg and, by manipulating a set of images from the US Library of Congress, reframes the archive and develops a series that invites us to a myriad of questions and reflections. Like Rauschenberg, when adding a subtitle to the photographic image, Paulo Simão assumes that he erased to reveal, he took out to add and what has apparently been censored never ceased to be there. 

With his intervention Simão creates a kind of anti-evocative monument and, by isolating the plinth, he opens a new perspective and approach to the artistic work, moreover, emphasizes the importance and role that the artist, the artistic work and, in this particular project, the evocative public art piece assumes by validating certain values, knowledge, historical events or collective memories. Finally, this sort of catalogue, that takes us to the photographic universe of Bernd and Hilla Becher, begins to reveal us the red lines, hidden by pixels that are no longer there or have been added as a result of today’s technological possibilities. 

Two years after the invasion of the US Capitol we start seeing the questions Paulo Simão want to address. Do we need new monuments and forms of celebration? What to do with monuments that already exist in public space, which evoke and celebrate historical events that are anachronistic and collide with a contemporary and humanist vision of society? How democracies deal with their colonial or imperial past and history? What is the role of schools, educators, cultural agents and the media in today’s society? And finally, invites us for a reflection about the difficulty that political actors face to get closer to citizens, in a world with less and less mediation and how misinformation is the perfect environment for the growth of populism.

Museum24:Portal - 2024.05.06
Grunnstilsett-versjon: 2