E daí / So What!? (2020), Video, 7:37 mins
In face of the negligence and arrogance of the current Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, when dealing with Covid-19 pandemic, we – the sound artist Mariana Bahia (Sifonics) and the dance performer and filmmaker Elissa de Brito – developed the sound and dance performance “E Daí!? (So What!?)”, performed and recorded during our time in isolation in Berlin.
“E DAÍ!?” (SO WHAT!?) relates to Brazilian tropicalism movement in which artists exploited the aesthetic vastitude from Brazilian culture, which results from the merge of the European, African and Native People histories.
In this sense, we present in the work a mixture of references, from its futuristic scenario to the middle age plague masks, as well as the colorful lights and clothes.
Sifonics works experimentally with her voice and other sound samples. She slowly builds layers of sound within time, which culminates in a complex musical set, enriched with textures and timbers. She mixes pop music and the many diverse types of Brazilian and world music.
Elissa dances on point shoes, referring to the classical ballet school, while applying modern and contemporary technics to her movements, inspired by the jester satire character.
The work was performed for the first time as a live performance, presented and recorded during our isolation time in Berlin, 2020. In our apartment during lockdown, but still connected to the atrocities that Jair Bolsonaro has been performing in our home land, a dystopian future was too easy to foresee. Inspired by that, we produced this piece, in an effort to expose and mock his cynicism, at the same time as we imagine how this future would look like.
Brazil is always a complex country to understand, socially and politically. The dynamics are peculiar, one has to truly explore the vast cultural layers that build it in order to comprehend them.
We might see the political absurdities in our country and call them madness. It’s a safe impulse not to face the tragedy behind our history. Brazilians once again try to survive in a system, that through corruption and misleading actions, undervalues people’s lives. Furthermore, this ghoulish negligence flirts with surrealism, when our executive representative exposes its sadist lunacy by not caring for the alarming rising number of deaths.
We dove into our own perplexity and turned it into art. Inside our tropical layers of countless quests, there is no better response to Brazilian sadist cynicism than true magical music and dance. What is left for us artists is to express our pain through fantasy.
Elissa de Brito is an audiovisual artist and dancer from Porto Alegre, Brazil, currently based in Berlin. Her work reflects upon culture, human relationships and beliefs through the diverse media strands like documentaries, video-installations, video projections and video performances.To create her interdisciplinary works she sources from more than 20 years of experience in classical and contemporary dance, music and theatre, blending the languages of body and film.
Mariana Bahia (Sifonics) is a Brazilian a sound artist and researcher from Niterói, Rio de Janeiro and is currently based in Berlin. Voice and speech have a central role in her work. She intends to raise awareness on self and identity through sound making and sound reproduction mediated by the machine. She plays music since 1997. She holds a BA in Music Production from the UNESA in Rio de Janeiro and an MA in Sound Studies from the UDK in Berlin.