TEXTO CRÍTICO DO CURADOR NATE HARRISON

publicado no catálogo/livro da exposição How to Read El Pato Pascual em Los Angeles, USA, 2017

“...From a legal standpoint, more uncertain are the works in How to Read El Pato Pascual that tease the viewer with ambiguous intent...

Similar interpretive challenges appear in Brazilian artist Sergio Allevato’s paintings. In them, the artist prepares a taxonomy of sorts, linking the evolution of plant life with the formal features of Disney characters. On the one hand, the works offer a tongue-in-cheek scientific rigor, as if to convey that Mickey and friends have so throughly permeated our conciousness that they have transcended visual representation and now assume an elemental role in natural life. On the other hand, Allevato’s renderings harden back to the pre-photographic era of field jornal illustrations. They can thus also be read as celebratory, as homage to the anthropomorphized forms that have played such a constitutive role in our experiences.

 

Like many of the works in this exhibition, Allevato’s paintings invite multiple subtle readings, which can only help add complexity to all-too-often stereotypical perceptions of lopsided U.S.-Latin American cultural exchanges.With that being said, in yet another interpretation we might describe Allevato’s work simply as derivatives of copyrighted materials.

One of the rights granted to all copyright holders (including Disney) is that of preparing “derivative” works based upon an original expression. We encounter this every day,so a simple example suffices. ... If we turn, then, to Allevato’s 2011 Flora Carioca (portraying Disney’s Brazilian parrot character Zé Carioca painted as an outgrowth of fruits and flowers), the question becomes: what meaning is to be drawn from Flora Carioca, and how does it differ from that which Disney originally intended (i.e., Zé as a playful, humanized parrot, a representative of Rio de Janeiro)? The answer to this question is not clear, and is further complicated, in the legal realm, by both case precedente and methodologies of interpretation.

...This leads, then, to the matter of interpretative method-how to evaluate purpose and character? Through artistic intente, as articulated by the author (Allevato)? Through strict formal comparison between the original and the secondary works?...

Returning to the field of art and its evaluative norms, one thing is for certain: neither Allevato’s paintings nor any of the other works in How to Read El Pato Pascual should be understood as ersatz Disney productions. This is to say that they do not seek to act as substitutes, but rather, at the very least, as meta-expressions on the state of cultural production in the contemporary moment.”

Ducks in a row by Nate Harrison, pages 63, 64 and 65, How to Read el Pato Pascual