In Diagram for Attack, Deyson Gilbert and Leopoldo Ponce correlated the gallery’s exhibition space with the museum of the Hospital of the Holy House of Mercy of São Paulo. The artists intervened in the medical collection room, adding an illustration portraying the attempted murder of Brazil’s first president elected by direct vote, Prudente de Moraes. Concurrently, the gallery exhibited objects linked to this illustration, displayed according to complementary logics to the medical room, and with formal or symbolic correspondence to its clinical devices. The overlap between spaces unveiled a plot which resonated with Brazil’s tense political climate of the time.
In Diagram for Attack, Deyson Gilbert and Leopoldo Ponce correlated the exhibition space of Galeria Jaqueline Martins with the museum of the Hospital of the Holy House of Mercy of São Paulo, an important institution with a history strongly related to the development of the city. The artists subtly intervened in the room showcasing the medical collection, adding an illustration dating from 1897 which portrayed the attempted murder of Brazil’s first president elected by direct vote, Prudente de Moraes.
The illustration, published in a newspaper of political satire of the time, is one of the few documents of this historical event. It portrays the moment when soldier Marcelino Bispo de Melo carried out a failed attempt to shoot and stab Prudente de Moraes, during a military ceremony when the president welcomed the battalions returning from the Canudos War. It was conjectured that the attack was part of a political conspiracy headed by the vice-president Manuel Vitorino Pereira.
The exhibition space at Galeria Jaqueline Martins showed a series of objects whose choice and composition derived from the illustration. These were displayed according to complementary logics to the medical room, and created formal or symbolic correspondence with the clinical devices presented there. Such complementarity between spaces invited a mental overlap of both in order to understand the work’s plot. The crafted déjà-vu opened ways of ‘seeing-beyond’ the illustration, which related to the desire to ‘see-beyond’ at the core of the ophthalmological medical devices predominating in the medical collection, such as microscopes and x-rays.
Through the correlation between objects and images of seemingly disconnected times and themes, the artists constructed a plot with strategic connections to Brazil’s tense socio-political climate in the aftermath of president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, of the interim-presidency of her vice Michel Temer, and in the eminence of Bolsonaro’s presidency.
1:1 #2 Diagram for Attack (or how to explain Gerstmann syndrome for rabbits and ducks)
by Deyson Gilbert (1985, Brazil)
& Leopoldo Ponce (1976, Ecuador)
04.08 – 13.10.2018
Galeria Jaqueline Martins & museum of the Hospital of the Holy House of Mercy
Photos by Filipe Berndt, courtesy of the artist & Galeria Jaqueline Martins