This concert-performance is a re-reading of Eder Santos’ most important pieces over the past twenty years, featuring live appearances by guest musicians Paulo Santos and Stephen Vitiello and by performer Ana Gastelois. Between the scenes, fragments of recent work by Eder emerge, such as a performance in which actors Monica Ribeiro and Rodolfo Vaz bark at the camera. Engrenagem ends up with the presentation of Ana Gastelois’ piece of the same name, which creates a live fusion of drawing, graphism, gesture, and dance.



Curator's text


With two decades behind him in art and video, artist Eder Santos has constructed a body of work in which the electronic image is frequently used to cross and intensify the scenic and visual possibilities of performing acts – of music, singing, dance, poetry, and something similar to the theatre. In the performances that outline the course of his career, alongside an important contribution in video, the artist uses images recorded live to create scenes and settings, thus marking a space in which hybrid spectacles, charged with simultaneity, music, forms and movement, can take place. With his own particular use of the image, he at once pokes fun at and celebrates the feverish multiplicity of angles and gazes to which TV has made us so accustomed.

The principle of making art live rules works such as “Passagem de Mariana” (1996), “Pincélulas” (1998) and “Concerto para Pirâmide, Orquestra e Sacrifício” (2001), that he has created with Paulo Santos and presented at earlier editions of Videobrasil Festival. In “Engrenagem” (the word means “gears”), the same principle applies, though now resulting in a performance-concert that rereads the artist’s most important work over the last 20 years and involves the live participation of guests Paulo Santos, Stephen Vitiello and Ana Gastelois. Fragments of Eder’s recent works emerge between the scenes, as the performance in which actors Monica Ribeiro and Rodolfo Vaz bark at the camera in an allusion to the security systems protecting houses and the signs that threaten us with warnings of “vicious guard dogs”.

The performance marks the re-encounter between Eder Santos and Vitiello, one of his most important partners. The electronic musician, “sonar artist” and curator has composed for experimental projects in video – including work by Eder himself – and for installations, having collaborated with such artists as the Korean

Nam June Paik. With a special interest in the physical aspect of sound “and its potential to define the form and the atmosphere of an environment”, Vitiello creates the music for “Engrenagem”.

The performance culminates with the presentation of the homonimous piece, a creation by Ana Gastelois. The performing artist uses the repetitive and familiar movements of the revolving blades of a mixer to create some- thing that is at once design, handwriting, gesture and dance. “In the conceptual design of a cake mixer, the dance emerges and the body turns into a mixer. The design becomes the musical score and generates a kinetic perspective”, she explains. “The performance materializes in the design as the creative process rendered visual”.

Conception and video: Eder Santos. Musical direction: Stephen Vitiello and Paulo Santos. Performer: Ana Gastelois. Musicians: Josefina Cerqueira, Paulo Carvalho, Evandro Rogers (photography), André Hallak, Breno Fortes, Bruno Monteiro (image editing), Nadia Maria (production).

ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL, "15º Festival Internacional de Arte Eletrônica Videobrasil": de 06 a 25 de setembro de 2005, p. 122- 123, São Paulo, SP, 2005.

Curator's text


Centered on the body, the performance, as ephemeral and unpredictable as it is, is not a form of entertainment, but an artistic genre that involves confrontation and risk. Political by necessity, it subverts the relationship between the work and the public, who is not invited to suspend disbelief before a fiction, but to pay witness to an occurrence. Transiting amongst disciplines every bit as much as it evades them, the performance becomes the expression of an art form in which the boundaries between genres cease to make sense. Perhaps that is why it is singled out as the contemporary artistic manifestation par excellence.

It was the observation of this phenomenon, especially in the evident manner in which it reverberates through electronic art – now increasingly more politicized and linked to the presence of the artist –, that motivated the gathering of such an expressive group of performers at this Festival. Brazilian, North American, Asian, African, they represent various takes on a genre of infinite hybridism, intent on dissolving the limits between artistic expressions one moment, and pointing to social issues and sharing universal scars the next.

One of the most striking of these approaches, the performance openly constituted as a political gesture, is rep- resented, among others, by the Cuban-born New Yorker, Coco Fusco. She commands an urban intervention which stages a ritual of subjection common in North American military prisons, though seen here as a kind of compulsory performance in which the body is violently used against man himself. The observation of the way situations reflex themselves in the media and in the society is also the source of the recordings brought together in “Futebol”, a work by Frente 3 de Fevereiro that echoes an act of racism; and the distressing sensa- tion of imminent tragedy the feitoamãos/F.A.Q. group takes as its subject matter.

No less political in their essence, the works of Kenyan artist Ingrid Mwangi and the Indonesian Melati Suryodarmo are the fruit of a performance conception in which the body is the field of projection for disturb- ances born within the sphere of strictly personal experience. Mwangi, who created “My Possession” for the

Festival, uses voice and movement to speak of an existence in displacement. In “Exergie – Butter Dance”, Melati, who studied performance with Marina Abramovic, draws upon the imminence of the accident – and not uncommonly, the accident itself – to produce a concentrated level of intensity without the use of any narrative structure whatsoever.

In different ways, Marco Paulo Rolla and Detanico Lain represent the performance that is born of the fine arts. Rather than abandoning the white cube, the paradigm for the contemporary exposition space, Marco Paulo appropriates its formal rigor in performances that speak of the disconcerting bursting through of chance into a world of placidity and balance. Artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain environmentalise their pixel landscapes and enter the scene themselves to manipulate them live so as to accentuate their character of digital representation – and, ultimately, understand how the representation constructs images of the world.

Plastic, music and video are the founding elements of a performance genre that is particularly vigorous in Brazil. The previously unseen works of the Chelpa Ferro group and the artist Eder Santos to be shown at the Festival are some good examples. In Chelpa Ferro, Barrão, Luiz Zerbini and Sergio Mekler broaden their spectrum of action by producing music and noisy objects, which they position on the stage as parts of an installation. “Engrenagem”, which reunites Eder Santos with musicians Stephen Vitiello and Paulo Santos and with performer Ana Gastelois, is a re-reading that validates the artist’s talent in the use of video to multiply the visual effects of performing acts of dance, music, drama and poetry.

Both Eder Santos and Chelpa Ferro have passed through the Festival before, as the presence of their work in the Antologia Videobrasil de Performances attests. Eder created an historic series of performatic works for the Videobrasil Festival, while Zerbini, Barrão and Mekler featured under the name Chelpa Ferro for the first time at the 12th Festival, in 1998. It is therefore symbolic that their new work has been chosen to close the 15th Videobrasil. Within the ample panorama of this most contemporary of genres, they represent a line in performance that was the pioneer on the Brazilian scene and which the Festival is proud to have nurtured since its inception.

ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL. "15º Festival Internacional de Arte Eletrônica Videobrasil - 'Performance.'": de 6 a 25 de setembro de 2005, p.98-99, São Paulo-SP, 2005.