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Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art
Jonathas de Andrade. O Peixe (Zivs) 16mm (2k), 23’, skaņa 5.1, 16:9 (1.77), 2016
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The video O Peixe (The Fish) depicts fishermen from a village on the northeast coast of Brazil enacting a ritual in which they embrace the fish that they have caught. Shot on 16mm film, recalling an ethnographic lens, the work hovers between myth and document. The scenes in the film, simultaneously brutal and tender, confront the viewer with the tension and pathos of the dying process, up until the fish takes its last breath. At that exact moment, the scene moves on to the next couple—man and fish—and the tension begins again, transforming this single action, through endless repetition, into a ritual. The affectionate gesture that accompanies the passage of death is a testament to a relationship between species that is imbued with strength, violence and domination.