Day 11 | Cyríaco Lopes

The Big Slip juxtaposes representations of Brazil/ians in U.S. movies and of the U.S. and its people in Brazilian movies. The result, humorous and absurd, reflects stereotypes and bias from both sides. Both countries play a narcissistic game where their “dark side” (and secret fantasy) is realized as “other,” which is at once seductive and repulsive.

Famous movies (i.e. “It is a Wonderful Life,” “Notorious”) are given new meaning by association and context. For example, a scene taken from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” where Audrey Hepburn desires that her Brazilian children will have green eyes, is shown side by side with a scene from the Brazilian movie “The Kiss of the Spider Woman” in which Raul Julia imagines the heroine of a story with black, “not green eyes.” Racial phobia is an underlining tension in those cross representations.

In another juxtaposition we see a sexual proposition mediated by a translator, where the Brazilian is the passive sexual object of desire (Wild Orchid) and, at its side, a scene where Brazilians are interrogating a U.S. ambassador taken hostage for political reasons (7 Days in September). The comparison underlines fears of the uncontrollable, be it sex for the U.S., or political imperialism for Brazil, where the “other” is made into a manageable, repressed symbol.

The Big Slip is a game of mirrors and a truncated dialogue between those 2 sister American countries, Brazil and the U.S.

The Big Slip, 2005 – TRT 2:45 mins
(see video)


In the past few years Lopes’ work was seen in the United States at the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, at El Museo del Barrio, ApexArt and the America’s Society in New York, at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis, among other venues. In the same period his work was also seen in France, Germany, Poland, Chile and Portugal. In his native Brazil the artist has shown at the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art of Salvador, and the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP), among other institutions. His work was curated into exhibitions by artists such as Janine Antoni, Luciano Fabro and Lygia Pape, as well as by curators such as Paulo Herkenhoff. Lopes was the winner of the Worldstudio AIGA and RTKL awards, the Contemporary Art Museum Project award (Saint Louis), the Stetson/Hand Award for Professional Achievement, and the Prêmio Phillips of trip to Paris.

Cyríaco Lopes – DeLand Florida

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