January 25-26, 2016
Performed: 7 hours
Executive producer: Felipe Bretas
Research and coordination: Rane Souza
Research: Maria Clara Carneiro Sampaio
Legal support: Agnes Christian
Photos: Felipe Bretas, Pedro Agilson, Rane Souza
I chain myself to a street post with a bicycle lock in the area of Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro in front of an abandoned tall building – it’s quite a deserted part of town, located at an intersection that sees almost no pedestrians during day, nor at night. It is around 10 p.m. when I start my performance.
With this action, I replicate an episode from a couple of years ago, when the so-called vigilantes punished a 14 year-old street robber by beating him almost to death, cutting half of his ear, stripping him naked, and fixing him to exactly the same street post with a bicycle lock. The boy was released only around 5 a.m. when a local school teacher, Yvonne Bezerra, called the fire brigade that managed to break the bicycle lock and take him to the hospital. At the hospital it became clear that the boy had disabilities, for he could barely speak.
My experiment carried a different result: while nobody wanted to save that boy, every 5 minutes, cars driven by locals pulled over to try to help me, release me, and generally to make me feel better. Every 15 minutes or so I was visited by the police and the fire brigade. All the above entities were quite at a loss, as I did not speak, I only stared at certain point in the skies and seemed to not notice the commotion. Apparently, this was quite disappointing to my potential saviours – ergo, gringos cannot suffer.
My performance is over in the small hours of the morning with the arrival of BOP, a group of the military police. Their visit is never a joke, so I succumb to my freedom.
Video duration: 2:43 min
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