Let’s Write a History of Hopes

Solo Show - Galeria Vermelho - Sao Paulo, 2014

In 2013, Argote began the project The Messengers, a film made in collaboration with American political activists Blaine O’neal and Gabriela van Auken. With footage shot in small villages in Colombia and Spain, The Messengers uses text, images, electronic and folk Music to foster discussion about colonialism, concisely revealing the conceptual content of the solo show at Vermelho. On Vermelho’s façade, Argote writes the phrase “Let’s write a history of hopes” (2014), which involves various ideas that pervade the solo show. Unlike previous projects presented on this 8x15 meter canvas, which holds concepts and ideas of other artists, Let’s write a history of hopes takes the opposite path. The idea is not one of accumulation, but of subtraction, since to write this phrase Argote removes layers of the wall’s surface, revealing the vestiges of previous projects. This procedure with archaeological characteristics employed by Argote to investigate history based on its icons, representations, images, etc., re-emerges in the set consisting of five sculptures of the Excerpts series (2014). In it, phrases like “Dancing is the only way I can forget” and “We are happy with our problems, and tired of your solutions” are written on pieces of walls. Here eating Dirt Mom… (2014), an installation composed of more than 1,200 clay bricks made by Argote in Brazil, winds through the exhibition’s entire ground-floor. Each brick was handmade by Argote and bears the mark of the artist’s bite. The work reaffirms the phrase written on Vermelho’s façade, using the symbolism of the brick as a central element in the construction, and especially reconstruction, of history pervaded by hope.