Vitor Cesar: walking the city in disarray

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posted on 06/26/2015
From July 1st on, the city of Warsaw will host urban interventions by Vitor Cesar, a Brazilian artist undertaking a residency at the A-I-R Laboratory under the Videobrasil in Context project

Urban interventions by Vitor Cesar (Ceará/Brazil), currently undertaking a residency at the A-I-R Laboratory under the second edition of Videobrasil in Context, will occupy the city of Warsaw, beginning on July 1st. The artist has created large panels (120 x 180 cm) based on discourses that relate experiences in the city and the terms, words, and ideas that they give rise to, in connection with the urban landscape and its intense transformations.

His works will be shown in spaces intended for advertisement at ten different points in the city, through a partnership between the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, associated with the A-I-R Laboratory, and communications company Clear Channel. To kick off the intervention, Vitor Cesar and Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka, the chief curator for A-I-R, will welcome the public at a space near one of Cesar’s interventions, at 6pm.

During his residency, Vitor Cesar, whose work explores the links between the city and language, develops a project that comprehends the city of Warsaw as an archive. Working in collaboration with a translator, Michał Lipszyc, the artist proposes a game of words in Polish, misappropriating the subject of speech and returning it to citizens, and summoning the responsibility of residents towards the city. The panels to be featured throughout Warsaw take into consideration the multiplicity of agreements and disagreements, contradictions, and ambiguities involved in the building of different perceptions of urban space.

Apart from a few concepts which are very present in his work, like the occupation of the city and the disruption of discourse, the project Iść przez miasto w stanie zamętu (loosely translated as “walking the city in disarray”) reiterates Vitor Cesar’s interest in amphibology: the ambiguity of meaning that occurs when, due to lack of clarity or the use of words with myriad meanings, a sentence takes on dubious significance. This issue is also explored in Anfibologia, Reciprocidad (2013), a piece by Cesar that was shown at Museo Experimental El Eco, in Mexico City. The sentence “os efeitos da obra deste artista são de sua responsabilidade” (Portuguese for “the effects of this artist’s work are of his/your responsibility”), written onto the museum’s façade, makes it unclear whether said effects are the responsibility of the artist or of those who read the sentence.

Anfibologia, Reciprocidad (2013)

On the blog In Residence, the artist records the research process during the residency. Cesar’s posts recount meetings he had with Centrala, group of architects which discusses the current state of the city and its developments, and his research into the career of architect Oskar Hansen, to whom people, just like in this project, are “co-creators of space.”

Videobrasil in Context is part of the Videobrasil Residency Program. Created in 2012 to foster international artist exchange in association with the Videobrasil Collection, the program commissions artworks to be integrated into the collection. For its second edition, Videobrasil in Context has partnered up with the A-I-R Laboratory, which is welcoming Vitor Cesar. In 2016, Poland’s Karol Radzizewski will begin an immersion into the Videobrasil Collection. As the outcome of the experience, each artist will present a brand new artwork, which could be a video, a video installation, a performance, or a publication. 

Iść przez miasto w stanie zamętu
July 1st, at 6pm
Marszałkowska 9/15, Warsaw, Poland