Matheus Rocha Pitta
Drive thru #1
October 11 - November 15 2008
7 Heddon Street London W1B 4BJ
Sprovieri Progetti presents Drive thru #1, an interrogation of perceptual processes and the status of the image by Brazilian artist Matheus Rocha Pitta, for his first UK exhibition.
Drive thru #1 plays on the etymology of the word ‘apprehend’, meaning to take hold, to confiscate, or to understand. For Brazilian police, apprehension is the term used when they have captured a haul of illegal goods. Usually they create displays and call the press. In doing so, the police put the confiscated goods into a new sphere of circulation - within the media – and their function changes to dematerialised symbols of the law. In this instance the photographic document stands as a figure of conversion between both image and matter, and the circuits of meaning that are engendered by each through their consumption.
Focusing on these elements of displacement and discontinuity of meaning, Drive thru #1 presents Rocha Pitta’s own apprehension: depicting in sculpture, video and photographs the demarcation of territory by showing a car crossing a border without moving an inch. Using earth (since earth cannot be taken as an object, even when it is a commodity in the form of territory), Rocha Pitta taped and packaged it the same way as drugs, confiscating the surrounding landscape and moving it slowly through the car. The photographs, video and sculpture in this instance therefore exist not only as evidence of the physical action, but also as emblems of the boundaries of territory as the limit of law.
Drive thru #1 was recently awarded the first Illy Sustainart and ARCO prize in Spain, an award given to young artists in support of the development of their careers.