Deep Blue vs Shallow Pink
In 2022 I was invited to take part in the group show Serralhas, at Soma Galeria, curated by Marina Ramos. The conversations and motivations surrounding the exhibition were to show works which evoked springtime, painted bouquets, botanical installations. Though at first that theme may seem lofty, consider that the most famous Brazilian protest song is called “Pra não dizer que não falei das flores”.
Curator Marina Ramos was especially interested in investigating the metaphoric value of spring within political movements (like the Arab Spring of 2010). She highlighted the thematic relevance of an exhibition about flowers and springtime which would be opening during the 2022 electoral period in Brazil. The unprecedented political schism in Brazil meant that this election would be the climax of an anxiety we have been living through since the impeachment of Dilma in 2016 and the election of Bolsonaro in 2018.
With these political machinations buzzing in the background, Deep blue versus Shallow was conceived specifically for the exhibition. Utilizing chess as a symbolic object, which functions as a metaphor for war games and political strategization, the work functions as both a literal game of chess (where gallery visitors engaged in many matches) as well as something which occupies a liminal space between playfully engaged and politically reflective.
At first glance, there is an organic quality to the work; the quare patches of grass, forms which recall rocky-foamy-corals, flowers which bloom through them. But it all comes down to farce; hyper nature.
All materials which make up the artwork are some sort of petroleum-cum-plastic byproduct; Astroturf, Polyurethane Foam Spray, plastic imitation flowers. All slightly toxic and 100% synthetic, coming not from nature but from labcoats and the scientific method. This Baudillardian hyperreal generates in us a familiar uncertainty, reminding us that all reality is (supposedly) manipulated. A reality where elections are won through machines of fake news, twitter bots, and fear mongering.
The title of the art work makes direct reference to Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov, which marked the first time a professional chess player was defeated by a computer.
acrylic on wood, keys, keychain, 25x15cm, 2019