Heavy Weight



Text by Ulisses Carrilho
Photographs by Victor Takayama
Sunday, April 19 - 2015

With deliberate slowness and sustained effort, Grupo EmpreZa presents their Fourth Serão Performático. Mentally engaged with their own actions, the common theme among all the  performers’ actions was carrying heavy stone. Even though not a single word is uttered, it is a clear and undeniable celebration of Sisyphus.

Serão Performático is a term created by Grupo EmpreZa to describe the series of actions presented using elements such as dust, fire and in this fourth incarnation, stone. Simultaneously, several happenings and actions take place not only in their designated exhibition area but all of the “In Between” space, and in the main streets of SESC Pompeia.

Throughout the afternoon, two group members work with gravel. The exhibition room fills with dust, alluding to building sites. In their usual formal attire, members of the collective drag each other's bodies around, marking their paths and leaving trails behind in dust. Pulling the weight tests their physical limits, pushing them to exhaustion until the end of the performance.

In another room, a naked man holds his face above a pile of gravel. As he lies on the exhibition room floor, his head resembles a building’s foundation. Another man walks slowly in circles. His shoes are enormous and made of stone. Each step is proof of strength. Another performer crawls naked among the audience carrying a large black marble block on his back. A girl begins dragging a heavy stone using her hair. At certain moments, it is almost impossible to believe that she is controlling the stone and not the reverse. The audience marvels at these feats.

Discretely in a corner of the room, another Grupo EmpreZa member tries to make a fire using the friction between two crystals. The motion gains attention and spills out into the next room. Members of the public are given their own pair of crystals and a participatory ritual starts to take place. Quick, violent movements reverberate throughout the group of artists and audience as they attempt to make fire together.

The fourth Serão ends with the crowd gathered around a huge bonfire of large, heavy stones. The job is done: the energy from the minerals have fill the space. Howling can be heard from outside the exhibition area.

This Serão Performático was the fourth in a series of six performances that are part of project Vesuvius, by Grupo EmpreZa.

Terra Comunal - MAI is free and open to the public until May 10, 2015 @SESC Pompeia, São Paulo - Brazil.