Excerpt from P/p
2013. HD video, 2 min., color, no sound, loop. Installation may include a text by the artist.
P/p juxtaposes a colonial bangle produced in England — which, historically, was used as payment for the purchase of slaves in Africa — with with a number of different chains, some of which jewelry. In his writings on fashion, Brazilian architect Flávio de Carvalho identified in the minuscule links of jewelry the sublimation of slaves' chains. Retaining their colonial shape, open bangles ("escravas/ sclavas" in Portuguese and Spanish) are commonly found to this day throughout the Iberian Peninsula.
"The Kings of Sierra Leone, in the beginning, Frazer tells us, were chained against will and whipped before receiving the symbol of royalty, which was the executioner's axe.
The chains of the slave and all his or her belongings, rings, links, and bangles, prototypes of today's jewelry, were used to tie the king to his Palace and prevent his escape.
There was always the desire of preventing freedom of thought that is connected to freedom of movement. The chains that immobilized the slave, the prisoner, and the King, are applied to the Extremities of the Body and it is these extremities that receive today the adornment of jewels."
Flávio de Carvalho, "As Joias — O pavor que trazia a palavra Liberdade — Os prisioneiros da eternidade (Jewelry — The Fear that Would Bring the Word Freedom — The Prisoners of Eternity)," in A moda e o novo homem
(Fashion and the new man), (Rio de Janeiro: Azougue Editorial, 2010), 257.
Read a translation of excerpts from Flávio de Carvalho's A moda e o novo homem
(Fashion and The New Man) here
. Translation by Mariana Silva.