On November 5, 2015, two dams containing mining waste broke in the town of Mariana in Minas Gerais generating a trail of destruction, devastating entire villages, ending violently to life of residents and causing that which is already considered the largest environmental crime in Brazil’s history. The neglect of Samarco mining company, in addition to causing immediate killings of humans by drowning in chemical mud, also placed around the Doce River in risk of death. Thanks to irresponsible ambitions of this joint venture between Vale (former “Rio Doce”) and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton, is no longer possible to capture the river water for consumption, and even the production of energy in local hydropower plants was paralyzed. Now, heavy metals, such as aluminum, iron, manganese and mercury, make up the toxic sludge that will travel around 600 kilometers to reach the ocean, also carrying tons of trees, fish and other dead animals. The harmful impact of this tragedy on the environment, on the livelihoods of small communities and the economy of the region is desolate.
All that the human realizes he does as a technical expression, do as landscape, the landscape and from the landscape. All physical transformations that operate on land (crops, buildings, appliances, art) happen to meet the most basic human needs – protect yourself eating, move, relate to – and make individual use or collective physical and symbolic objects.
Since 2010, Bruno Miguel is attending auctions, antique shops and antique stores to collect plates, cups and other functional and decorative household objects that you were especially interesting. The glass and crystal pieces were combined and filled with polyester resin to create about 150 pieces of installation Cabinet. The work these people in the dining room consists of four hundred compositions comprised of dishwashing utensils (pots, cups, saucers, butter dishes and tureens), polyurethane foam, small artificial trees, paper mache and vibrant color inks. While the vertical fittings of objects Cabinet necessarily refer to the efforts originating from what we raise from the ground, each of the objects of these people in the dining room may seem like an island, a lot, a rash, a mud flow – even of toxic sludge.
Bruno Miguel research, which besides artist is acting as professor of painting, points rather to the characteristic elements of this technique and its history. If for years Bruno has been investigating the pictorial genre of landscape, now he also relates to the still life. The procedure in the case of the works of these people in the dining room, is creating an image from the contrast between two invoices. The crockery in porcelain are recognized as belonging to domestic and family context and are related to the idea of refinement and fragility; his image is associated with the genre of still life. Already colored hills have their creative processes similar to those of carnival floats. They are gaudy, playful, seemingly strong, and its image is associated with the landscape genre. The meeting between pop culture elements with references from other sources is an important procedure in the production of Bruno Miguel.
When installing these people in the dining room throughout the exposure period, the objects are rearranged in space, creating different paths through the room. If music of Os Mutantes “Panis et circensis” describes the opposition between a subject who acts changing the world and “people in the dining room” that “are concerned with birth and death”, we can reflect on what types of manufacturing activity this work they can inspire as symbolic objects. By placing the landscape on a scale of manual use of objects, Bruno can sharpen awareness of our agency in relationship with the environment, the imperative need for reflection on the real causes and possible extensions of the effects of our practices. After all, dams can disrupt lives. Moreover, in our historical time, all fantastic process is legitimate exercise so that we might be able to imagine what does not yet exist.
In the most recent installation, Cabinet, Bruno begins to investigate more specifically the genre of still life. In this case, the objects surrounding the supported public on lined shelves, showing the empty space in the center of the room. Arranged this way, we are led to wonder whether the weakness actually is not ours and we would not these people concerned about birth and death.