A revolution comes from inside us. Sometimes that revolution need only be small, sometimes it need only be the longing to take oneself to a new exhibition and learn about who we really are and our place in this world. 'We belong to the people when we are outside' is an exhibition by the Portuguese artist Pedro Barateiro and it caused a small revolution deep within me.
Taking place in Kettle's Yard in Cambridge - a surprisingly eclectic gallery showcasing 20th century #Art - the inspiration behind this short #Film was the exploration of how we look at art and objects, and the way the meanings we ascribe to them change over time. Barateiro decides that his exploration for meaning must lie with modernism; I stand in a darkened gallery watching this film with simple yet surreal images, while a hypnotic Masonic voice resonates with questions such as 'what is the trait you must deplore within yourself' while a female softly asks 'what is your greatest regret'.
The piece itself would not be lost in Paris during the time of artists such as Andre Breton who used images in his infamous piece 'Nadja' to depict convulsive beauty. The loss and decay of post war Paris in the 1920's was akin to that of the mind, which was depicted by modernist artists. One can see how Barateiro could be taken by this period's art history, a period that believed in rejecting the ego and placing it in the frenetic city and its people.
Using a letter from the artist Constantin Brancusi and the painting Composition, 1936 by Portuguese abstract artist Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, as a starting point, Barateiro begins his journey and ends it with endless questions. And these are questions we should never feel afraid of; we are not small when we are part of the world we live in. We have the ability to go beyond art and make changes. Time changes us, we grow and we learn to perceive objects in life differently, but seldom do we stop and think about it. I believe this is the revolution Barateiro wants from us.
We are living in a time that seems dark and full of atrocities. Paris today is in as much turmoil as it was during the loss and decay of the first war; it will need to find its identity again among the current chaos.
But I believe that like this work of art, we can come together with our fellow strangers and live together and learn to get along; for 'we belong to the people when we are outside'.