Evan Baden

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A Conversão de São Paulo

São Paulo, Brazil is a city in constant flux. The first Portuguese sailors turned the natives into instruments for their own economic purposes. The missionaries who followed converted those natives yet again, bringing Catholicism to the new world. Today, Brazil is in the midst of the traumatic evolution from a developing nation to an industrial and economic powerhouse. While this emergence has brought with it a dramatic rise of the middle class, it has been accompanied by an even more dramatic rise in income disparity. Popular culture is shifting as well, with American brands and symbols–often seen as indicators of prosperity–marking the young people that don them. The drive behind many of these changes is the movement away from Catholicism and towards one of the various types of Evangelism. A Conversão de São Paulo ties these conversions together–from the colonial past to the political, religious, economic, and cultural present–and serves as a foreshadowing of possibilities to come.

 

In the making of A Conversão de São Paulo, young parishioners from the Evangelic church Igreja Agua da Vida–housed in an old theatre in São Paulo–were invited to perform simplified versions of biblical stories. In addition to elements of biblical lore, symbols of prosperity, doom, and renewal were looped in to contextualize the relationship between church dogma and the contemporary changes occurring in São Paulo.

Ground Floor: A Biennial Exhibition of New Art From Chicago

2014

Hyde Park Art Center

Chicago, Illinois

 

Educating the Natives #1

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Paradise

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Exodus

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Baptist

2013

42 x 96" (107 x 244cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Fire

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Crucifixion I

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Pyre

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Crucifixion III

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Milk & Honey

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Conversion

2013

42 x 78" (107 x 198cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Kiss I

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Sacrifice

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Kiss II

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Overpass

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Crucifixion II

2013

42 x 96" (107 x 244cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Black Sheep

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Expulsion

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

The Kiss III

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Lunch

2013

42 x 80" (107 x 203cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

Educating the Natives #2

2013

42 x 56" (107 x 142cm)

Pigmented Inkjet Print

2014

Glass Curtain Gallery

Chicago, Illinois