Peixe Voador

Video 00:01:49, áudio, cor, loop. Projeção.

Peixe Voador Flying Fish
apoidea kunst raum
Berlin, Deutschland
from set 23 to oct 06

With the objective of contributing for ideas’ exchange and collective thinking between artists, researchers and curators, apoidea invites for its inaugural exhibition “Peixe Voador”, showing the homonym piece by the brazilian visual artist Ana Matheus Abbade. This piece is accompanied by texts from apoidea’s curator and director Dereck Marouço and by the brazilian art critic Felipe Molitor.

The 2 min. looping video uses the appropriation of images from television documentaries to create an epic narrative starred by sea animals. It relies on the duality between two ecologic environments – the sea and the sky. The work portrays the encounter and attempt to escape of a “flying fish” with its principal tormentors: to flee from the big tuna, the animal jumps and glides above the water, when it is also chased by the albatross.

Flying Fish | Peixe Voador

Ana Matheus Abbade’s video installation Peixe Voador [Flying Fish] (2016) presents characters engaged in a Homeric drama in which its hero, the flying fish, must challenge boundaries in order to survive. Whilst searching for plankton, the flying fish is hunted by two larger predators: the tuna and the albatross. To escape them, the fish navigates between two distinct environments: the sea in which he was born; and the air, an environment that he cannot fully master. Fleeing from both tuna and albatross, he breaks environmental boundaries, transitioning from water to air, and back again. In this conflict, the fish leaps and soars, constantly tracing and transcending the margin of these two ecosystems.
Overcoming the struggle, there is sudden relief: the fish is safe. Yet in this cyclical narrative, this moment is all too brief. As the film continues in a never-ending loop, so too the flying fish must engage in a cyclical battle. The system is inexorable: his ‘wings’ allow him the freedom to flit between water and air, but still cannot release him entirely from the ever-present threat of capture.

Our experience of this battle is only possible with the camera, the fourth character. It reveals to us images of a system that otherwise remains unknown. Abbade creates a bridge between natural and human worlds, re-editing the television documentary film, exaggerating its epic qualities.

The act of re-shooting and re-editing a documentary film takes these images in a new direction, opening up the specific scenario of maritime life. Through the tiny fish’s story the reality of those lives is shown and transcended, creating an analogy with human society. The art critic and professor Boris Groys (Berlin, 1947) hails the hero of mainstream films as an “illuminist, a critic of the media and at the same time a private detective that wants to unmask the culture and the daily life as an artificially produced illusion”[1]. This role only fits to the fish because of the captured images and its thriller feature given by the re edition.

The animal is primarily fantastic, for they don’t postpone their needs. In the human world, according to Sigmund Freud (Moravia, 1856 – London, 1939), the instincts repression’s leads to the creation of reality[2]. Therefore, we are able to perceive the beauty and the danger in the representation of these characters. The flying fish, tuna and albatross live in a system of freedom, they do not repress their instincts and, however, as we watch these images we know that they are living and dying. The fish’s dive and gliding flight is the concretization of a pleasure, for by flying it tries to ensure the possibility of living according to its most important objectives for as long as he could.

Dereck Marouço

[1] Boris Groys, Versklavter Götter, Filmstudio und Realität oder Hollywoods metaphysische Wende, Lettre International, 52, 2001
[2] Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization, 1966