Marcelo Masagão’s video installation Adote um Satélite is at once a tribute and a satire of television; a mix of installation, happening and sculpture exhibit that had visitors in front of ten-plus pseudo-television sets “tuned” into various “pseudo-channels.”
Essay Arlindo Machado
Adote um Satélite
The domestic television set is truly the totem pole of our time, around which all of the planet’s tribes come together each day to celebrate the ritual of consumption and imaginary living. If some day someone sets out to draft an anthropology of man in this century, they will surely reserve a privileged place in the global village for this plastic box whose anterior face opens up, like a black hole, to all of the mythologies of the contemporary world. This prototypical object of (post) modernity is well worthy of a caricature on par with its predominance. And this is what Marcelo Masagão is doing now, with a sense of humor seldom found in our fine arts. His sculpture simulacra, most of the time built from television casings, offer an ironic take on the main themes, situations and shows of Brazilian television, with a mise-en-scène borrowed from parody, and often using consumer goods pushed by electronic media itself, such as mass production toys and goods. “Adote um satélite” (Adopt a satellite), at once a tribute and a satire of television, combines installation, happening and sculpture exhibition, placing visitors in front of over ten pseudo-TV sets ‘tuned’ into different pseudo-channels, and allowing them to “sail” the whole bestiary of electronic media. However, it is not a “critical” event in the pedantic sense of the word. First and foremost, it is an exercise in carnival-like humor, replete with self-deprecation, something we learn from TV itself. A case in point is the lesson taught to us by the Brazilian master Abelardo “Chacrinha” Barbosa.