Before the enslavement of the other
Helouise Costa - Professor and Curator at MAC USP
An artist's biography does not explain his work, but may offer valuable clues about his view of the
world. Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich was born in Russia and has lived in recent years between Moscow, London
and São Paulo. His keen sensitivity to social inequalities, coupled with the experience of constant
displacement by large metropolises of the world, favored the development of a work that explains
contradictions and prejudices naturalized in the daily life of the societies through which he transits.
And it is precisely his condition of foreigner, with the capacity for estrangement that is his own, that
makes him a perceptive and critical observer of Brazilian society today.
Slavery, in its various forms, is the uncomfortable theme that the artist approaches in this exhibition, through seven performances that he performed between 2014 and 2017. Such actions constitute what he calls "temporary monuments", defying the perenniality of the traditional monument and its glorifying bias. Fyodor's monuments are not invitations to a celebration. Instead they throw us in the face of seven scourge situations that mix the past and the present in the history of Brazil. What is at stake are the power relations established on violence and the exploitation of the other, which seem to have perpetuated themselves as defining traits of our identity. Passed by this ancestral and anonymous pain, the artist opts for empathy and ends up defying the observer in the face of pain and risk that he infringes on his own body.
Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich is considered one of the leading performers of contemporary Russia. The exhibition "Monumentos Temporários", his largest solo show ever held, arrives in São Paulo after being presented at the Winzavod Contemporary Art Center in Moscow. This show integrates the program of external partnerships of MAC USP, which through it seeks to fulfill its mission to bring to the public different aspects of contemporary art.
© 2017 Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo