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Contrainte / Restraint

An exhibition produced by the Groupe Molior

Leandro Lima, Gisela Motta, Alvo (Target) (2008)

Leandro Lima, Gisela Motta, Alvo (Target) (2008)
As visitors enter a determined field within the exhibition space, the image of a target is projected on their bodies, following them as they move about. Their image is captured in real time by a camera connected to a computer with software that receives a signal and decodes this image through a process called ‘tracking,’ which reveals a series of coordinates. This information is then used to automatically place the target on the visitor’s body. Only one target is projected, and it follows the visitor who moves the most. If nothing moves within the determined field, then the computer doesn’t identify any reference points in order to project the target, and the space remains empty.

This installation gives visibility to the state of constant paranoia experienced by many São Paulo citizens who feel not only that they are the potential victims of urban violence, but who are also increasingly monitored by pervasive security devices such as CCTV cameras, sensor-triggered alarms, and even heavily armed private security personnel. As such, it exposes the fine line that separates notions of aggression and protection, reminding us that the over monitored spaces and situations produced by excessive security measures can be as threatening and intimidating as those produced by crime. Following the logic of the panopticon, this interactive installation also evokes a paranoid feeling that emerges from modern surveillance technologies’ ability to exercise the ‘power of mind over mind.

Other work by Leandro Lima et Gisela Motta in this exhibition: Armas.Obj.

Leandro Lima and Gisela Motta were both born in São Paulo, in 1976. Between 1996 and 1999, they studied Visual Arts at FAAP in São Paulo, and since then they have been working in partnership. Their solo exhibitions include Sob Controle (2009) and Vivendo at Galeria Vermelho in São Paulo (2006) and Foreign Element at HIAP, Helsinki (2007). Their recent group exhibitions include the 10th Havana Biennale, Havana (2009), We Used to Be Painters at Plan 9, Bristol (2008), I/Legítimo at MIS, São Paulo (2008) and Aktuelle Videokunst aus Brasilien at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2007). Motta and Lima were artists-in-residence in the UK for a three-month period in 2008 through the Artist Links/ British Council program. In 2006, they were awarded the prestigious Marcantonio Vilaça Prize and they also won the Incentive bursary at the Sergio Motta Art & Technology Awards in 2004.