José Carlos Martinat’s (Peru, 1974) research and project happened simultaneously to a rising wave of financial scandals linked to large contractors and politicians in Brazil in mid 2015.
When invited to conceive a site-specific work that would ponder upon the contemporary city using the gallery’s building as a catalyst, the artist decided to focus on a notion of built environment as the result from a series of agreements and negotiations that take place behind the abstraction of politics and capital. Martinat was interested in the ability to handle the discrepancy between what is disclosed and omitted and how this enables undeclared forms of government that endorse a submission of the social body to the logics of economy. Within this structure of power the most powerful currency is information.
For his installation, the artist places on top of the gallery’s walkway a small device composed of a thermal-printer connected to an online software which extracts and prints statistical information on the costs and revenues of the State of São Paulo. The information is taken from a State-owned website (www.transparencia.sp.gov.br) which was created by the government to provide access to the citizens to State information. In the installation, statistical graphs are printed in real-time as tax receipts and the coupons are thrown to the exterior of the building where they accumulate on the courtyard and can be read and taken by passers-by.