Democracy among Tyrants  

Democracy among Tyrants

Pedro Neves Marques, Ana Manso, André Romão, Margarida Mendes

Jun 06 – Jul 24, 2009

Press releasePortuguesebg

The Galeria Pedro Cera is pleased to announce the group exhibition Democracy among Tyrants.

In the histories of Herodotus, at the time of the first Persian conquest over the territories north of the Danube, he tells of an assembly among the Greek leaders under the command of Darius, King of Persia, in which the Greeks, being confronted by the possibility of fleeing to their former territories, come together to deliberate. Being forewarned of the imminent danger of democracy in the conquered territories, which had previously been under Greek control, a system that would soon overcome them, they go on to have a common vote, deciding by majority to remain fighting and be subjugated to the war movement.

Thus is stated the paradox that Herodotus narrates, in which democracy is excluded by a voting system, and in which each leader, a tyrant in their own lands, accepts an equitable weight in the deliberation. It is in this paradox, between the will, the power itself and life in common, that is, between supremacy, abdication or defeat in assembly, that the present exhibition stands out.

“Democracy among Tyrants” thus stands as a disguised conflict of encounter, at the convergence, one might actually state the vortex among authors – each raises and deposes each of the others simultaneously. A non-argumentative assembly, through being exhibited, but instead relativised among evocations, contagions and synapses.

In this sense it is beyond an explanatory and positivist unilateralism applied to the ethical and/or aesthetic views of each of the artists and of the relationships between them, which forms a polyphonic space of consensus and dissent – between autonomy and the shared construction of thought. Like the ineffable relationship between the Self and the Other, the Id and the Ego, resonance, difference and recognition, the works exhibited neither present nor represent, but project themselves beyond a truth. As such the artists here present also do not represent a determined discourse or unifying theme, but rather take a stance in the relationship, contagion and promiscuity of meanings.

Following on from the reciprocal nature between Ethics and Aesthetics that has accompanied André Romão’s work, the illusion of a State and the inevitability of transition: the idealism and disillusion of Hyperion structure his interventions in this present exhibition, made up of a video and its installation surroundings, as well as with a poster and three drawings.

Ana Manso, in turn, presents painting, geometrical grids and other elements in a convoking of possibility in potency, of faith in doing, of the unnameable and of an occult religious feeling, from which a latent and corrosive tribalism breaks out.

Margarida Mendes’ participation has the momentary mark of the refraction and conversion of the spectrum of colour into sound emitted at each day’s end of the exhibition, based on an indivisibility of the metaphysics and scientific thought prior to its secularisation.

Finally, it is in this prismatic sense that Pedro N. Marques is presented, in a disparity of narratives: between the evoking of the good savage, of the amulet of order and community in the form of the conch shell from “The Lord of the Flies”; or the salt deserts of Djibouti (Rimbaud once again); activated by the reproducing of the painting “Young Spartan Girls Provoking the Boys” by Degas, and by the film “Democracy among Tyrants”, which lends its title to this exhibition.

This exhibition is a project by Pedro Neves Marques.