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Exhibition Details


The exhibition The Scandal captures and explores social issues related to the contemporary reality of Mozambique, investigating its folkways, mythology, and urban dynamics. Branquinho is a multi-talented artist. He studied architecture and follows a dual career as a photographer and illustrator. He began to create works that connect tradition and contemporality that toy with a unique touch of humour, creating an incredibly powerful and meaningful contrast. Filipe uses Mapiko masks of the Maconde tradition, associating drawing and photography with a strong sense of satire to reflect the aspects and values of contemporary national affairs. These Mapiko masks can be, traditionally, caricatures of characters of a magical (imaginary) world or real known characters from the community or region.
The works depict the overarching themes of worldwide greed and malaise. As an exhibition, it lays bare the socio-political void of Mozambique. Filipe drew inspiration from the 2.7 billion dollar scandal circling the "tuna bond" debt crisis in Mozambique that led to international attention. The artworks depicting the sea and fish are a startling narration of how a tuna fishing fleet sunk Mozambique's economy and rocked the country. The money which the government borrowed to set up a sophisticated tuna industry was allegedly diverted to corrupt officials. "Back in Mozambique, 19 individuals, including the son of former President Armando Guebuza, have gone on trial". (BBC). The artwork series "From the School of Thieves'' signifies a ‘’school of burglar fishes’’ and symbolizes the individuals' actions when taking bribes. The message evoked is the social behaviour of the parties involved; how they follow each other blindly and coordinate in synchronization. "Since the crisis, Mozambique saw its currency lose a third of its value over the course of 2016, the year it defaulted." (Retuers).
Lipiko is a four-minute film revealing the creative process and work of Mozambican artist Filipe Branquinho. It sheds light on the artist’s latest series, The Scandal; the video includes works such as The Court Trail presented at La Biennale di Venezia Arte in 2019, In Gold We Trust (2020), Atum (Tuna) (2018), and A Frota (The Fleet) (2020). The film touches on Mozambique’s debt crisis scheme and expands on the artistic connection between each piece. “Filipe’s work is very deep; it digs into the heart of the Mozambique culture, politics, ways of living, the country’s natural beauty, costumes, corruption, and its monstrosities,” said Lidija Khachatourian, the gallery’s co-founder. “During the film’s production in Milan, we worked to present the creative message behind Filipe’s work and the message he wishes to relay to the world regarding the contemporary issues of his country.”

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