By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Artist Fábio Carvalho’s newest solo exhibition Invasão Monarca (Monarch Butterfly Invasion) will open on Saturday, July 2nd at Centro Cultural Paschoal Carlos Magno (CCPCM) in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro’s neighboring city located across the Guanabara Bay. Remaining on display through July 30th, the exhibition will feature over 1,300 tissue-paper flags hand decorated by Carvalho with soldiers in camouflage uniforms with butterfly wings.
The exhibition is a larger display of a project started by Carvalho during June 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal. There he presented the urban intervention “Migração Monarca” (Migration Monarch), as part of the “Festas de Lisboa” celebrations which feature events similar to the Festas Juninas in Brazil.
In Portugal, Carvalho placed his flags around the streets of Lisbon, while the upcoming exhibition will fill the CCPCM’s Quirino Campofiorito gallery in Campo de São Bento, Niteroi and spread outside to the exterior of the gallery.
The wires from which the flags hang will be placed at different heights forming a labyrinth with paths for visitors to walk through the exhibition. “It will be a large “all over” installation, which will occupy the gallery and surroundings,” Carvalho told The Rio Times.
Carvalho chose the Monarch butterfly as a way to help viewers question gender stereotypes. The butterfly is often associated with the feminine and is thought of as delicate and fragile, the opposite things associated with soldiers and the military. Additionally, the Monarch’s patterns mirror soldiers’ camouflage uniforms, helping them to hide from predators but also allowing them to be deceptive and to pretend they are something they are not.
The number of flags and their placement make the works an invasion, an occupation, helping Carvalho to make a critical statement about police and military occupation, where crime is reduced but the reminder of external dominance is ever present, even if camouflaged.
Exhibiting since 1994, Carvalho has presented sixteen solo exhibitions during his career thus far and has participated in over 150 collective exhibits in Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Spain, and the Untied States, among other countries.
What: Invasão Monarca Exhibition
When: Opening on July 2nd (11AM to 3PM) and continuing through July 30th, hours of operation Mondays to Fridays 10AM to 5PM, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 10AM to 3PM.
Where: Centro Cultural Paschoal Carlos Magno (CCPCM), Rua Lopes Trovão s/nº – Icaraí, Niterói