C& América Latina: When you returned to the art scene in 2013 after a hiatus [to work on political campaigns], why did you decide to talk about the military regime and the 1970 World Cup in your solo show “Impedimento” (2014)?
Jaime Lauriano: I went back to working with art to try to understand the issue of violence in Brazil and how it is present in the construction of our country, our identity. In 2013, I participated in the Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement) demonstrations, which were brutally suppressed by the Military Police, and this led me to think about how traces of dictatorship are still present in our society today, mainly in the retaliation against social movements. Also, Brazil was set to host the World Cup in 2014, a controversial moment when a portion of the Brazilian population questioned spending on the event, and we heard the jingoist ditty: “I am Brazilian, and proud of it, with all my heart…” All this ended up inspiring two videos in an attempt to find answers in the past for what is happening today.
C&AL: What are these videos?
JL: One of them is Morte Súbita, in which a group of people cover their faces with the 1970 Brazilian team jersey while, in the background, a narrator reads a list of names of 22 people who died or were disappeared that year. 1970, when we won the World Cup in Mexico, was also the year more people died under the dictatorship. And Brasil is a collage of newspaper articles published between 1964 and 1968, as well as official propaganda of the federal government during the “regime of exception”. One of the things I show is how the press was a major player in favor of the 1964 military coup. To make this piece, I watched more than 700 films at the National Archives in Rio de Janeiro over a one-year period.