The Big Slip 2 min excerpt of a 20 minutes video), 2002
The Big Slip, 2002
(Installation above at Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, UMBC)
In this excerpt of the piece (The original is 20' long) we see a scene from the U.S. movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and one scene from the Brazilian movie "The Kiss of the Spider Woman."
The Big Slip juxtaposes representations of Brazil/ians in U.S. movies and of the U.S. and its people in Brazilian movies. The result, humorous and absurd, reflects stereotypes and bias from both sides. Both countries play a narcissistic game where their dark side (and secret fantasy) is realized as other, which is at once seductive and repulsive.
Famous movies (i.e. It is a Wonderful Life, Notorious) are given new meaning by association and context. For example, a scene taken from Breakfast at Tiffanys where Audrey Hepburn desires that her Brazilian children will have green eyes, is shown side by side with a scene from the Brazilian movie The Kiss of the Spider Woman in which Raul Julia imagines the heroine of a story with black, not green eyes. Racial phobia is an underlining tension in those cross representations.
In another juxtaposition we see a sexual proposition mediated by a translator, where the Brazilian is the passive sexual object of desire (Wild Orchid) and, at its side, a scene where Brazilians are interrogating a U.S. ambassador taken hostage for political reasons (7 Days in September). The comparison underlines fears of the uncontrollable, be it sex for the U.S., or political imperialism for Brazil, where the other is made into a manageable, repressed symbol.
The Big Slip is a game of mirrors and a truncated dialogue between those 2 sister American countries, Brazil and the U.S.