Fernando Lindote stopped going to school when he was 11 to begin his periodic visits to the studio of Renato Canini. He would spend a few afternoons a week sat behind the artist’s board, watching him re-draw his characters infinitely. Among the many characters who lived within Canini’s comic strips and illustrations, one of them left a mark not only on the PVC supports from which came his characters, but also on the trajectory of the young Lindote: Zé Carioca.
Instead of going to classes, the artist began to witness the ways in which Renato Canini would reinvent, on a daily basis, the Brazilian parrot that was owned by Disney in the 1940s and later returned to South America as a symbol of this ‘’tropical and roguish” country. From the lessons learned, some persist as ethics and politics of the now grown up Fernando Lindote, the Gaucho artist based in Florianópolis. On one hand, the process of learning and the pleasure of not leaving the creation stationary: continually transforming the intentions, procedures and elements in a flurry of morphic operations which are the driving force of his work. On the other hand, facing these infinite morphisms with an unpretentious and curious stance, allowing him to experiment with many degrees of messing, just like Canini did, for whom his greatest contribution to the history of Zé Carioca was to mess with him.
It is from the perspective of someone who is also transforming with the lightness and the strength of someone who is not a prisoner to rigid identities – and, as a result, has in the process of messing a potent method of criticism of the powers who aim to separate, organise and hierarchize everything – that Fernando Lindote conducts his work to the current days. In the recent works developed for this exhibition, the artist expands his interests around the parrot of Disney, proposing reflexions and launching provocations about allegories of America, symbols of Brazil and representations of Rio de Janeiro, in order to explore themes such as biodiversity, cultural diversity and cosmology, which brings together artists from around the country, composing a panorama expanded by objects and documents from a variety of natures.
Such a meeting of ideas, points of views and visualities disturb the protagonisms. If Fernando Lindote does not reign, in his own individual exhibition, it is because his politics states that no identity should be preserved above another, and what’s more: that all identity masks, in an ideological unity, a myriad of exteriorities and subjective pluralities (sometimes antagonistic) that all equally constitute it. As such, in warning that, like Lindote, the artist is also Canini, Zé Carioca and any mockery alike, we are called – together with the morphism and the process of messing with something – to a third gesture, betrayal. In betraying, we can reveal what is hidden: to betray Zé Carioca with another icon of Brazil, Macunaíma, allows us to see some of the other disputes for the hegemonic representation of a national identity. From this perspective, his practice opens cracks in the image of Macunaíma himself in order to highlight, for example, the Macunaíma of Monte Roraima which is drowned out by that supposedly unifying imagery of Mário de Andrade.
Not even the school should be safe. Having eventually returned to the classroom and betrayed the frequency of visits to Renato Canini’s studio, even then Lindote messed with the social projection of a successful educational trajectory. On the day that he set foot in the university, he left 40 minutes later never to return. Avoiding formal education, however, made him a teacher. He is reference for artists from many areas of Brazil, spreading his politics of morphism, always, and even by himself, messed with and betrayed in lively lessons for freedom from those who are made in other schools.