ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
Roberto Cabot
* 1963 in Rio de Janeiro (BR), lives and works in Rio de Janeiro

Favela Chic, 2008
The UNO building in NY with Sugar Loaf reflected, 2008

There is something wrong about the digital prints from the series E-Scapes by Roberto Cabot. In the photo series, from which Favela Chic and The UNO building in NY with Sugar Loaf reflected are exhibited here, the media artist has assembled absurd city views: The Eiffel Tower, symbol of the European belief in progress of nineteenth-century industrialization, clashes with the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, which are structures of random growth built of boards from wooden boxes, metal canisters, palm tree branches, and similar stuff. In the facade of the UN headquarters in New York, an architectonic landmark for the attempt by hegemonic powers to create a political institution after World War II that would assure world peace, the 394-meter-high Sugarloaf Mountain of Rio de Janeiro is mirrored.
Through global circulation of images – for example, postcards or holiday snapshots – all motifs have become landmarks for the place where they are located and the worldview connected with it. Thus, it is not tourist landmarks that clash, but rather insignia of different world models and the methods to appropriate and explain them. By drawing them together in photomontages, Cabot makes their synchronicity visible. Neither the one image motif nor the other can claim prerogative of interpretation. The Eiffel Tower and the favelas, the UN building and the Sugarloaf Mountain are perspectives that refer to each other, which, like in the UN headquarters, continually mirror each other. (KB)


Favela Chic
, 2008