In the installation 'FLESH & FLOWERS' the colors of skin and flowers are central to generate social, political and symbolic issues associated to race and ethnicity.
The installation is comprised of 30 diptych works (Open Wounds) depicting various hues of skin colors and open wounds (each measuring 30 x 42 cm) presented in a row of 12.6 meter, 14 works (of different materials, techniques and dimensions) depicting an array of various representations of flowers, 7 vases with natural flowers, placed at random on the gallery floor and one sculpture (Endless Column) made with 12 empty medicine bottles covered and embroidered with antique handkerchiefs.
The vases with natural flowers which are representation of 'vanitas' will stay in the gallery until the end of the exhibition, the flowers will wither and fade away, a reminder and a meditation of the irrevocable passage of time in a constant cycle of growth and decay, attraction and repulsion, beauty and abjection, life and death.
In the series of skin and open wounds a few works of lighter skin hues bare no signs of wounds, stressing the inequalities linked to skin color and race.
The wounds depicted on the works of skin colors are perpetuated by the long history of aggression and injustice against the other and the different, by the flesh reduced and wrecked and by all the bodies, killed and wasted.
The installation 'FLESH & FLOWERS' sadly and symbolically, represents the skin of saints, martyrs, heroes, slaves, refugees, rebels, witches, prisoners, indigenous people, prostitutes, vagabonds, libertines, the insane, the sick, perverts, the abandoned, sinners, idols, activists, renegades, the forgotten, fools, villains, traitors and all the ones walking on the wild and unequal side of life.
The installation 'FLESH & FLOWERS' is about pain and death but it is also about beauty and the will to exist and to live.
Célio Braga, Amsterdam, april/may 2022.