Mauricio Dias at IFFR
Portrait of a group of US Immigration and Customs officers, who work with trained dogs to search for drugs and illegal immigrants.
Devotionalia began as a project for street kids in the Lapa district in Rio de Janeiro. Dias and Riedweg invited the children to make an ex-voto: a wax casting of their foot or hand accompanied by a personal wish recorded on video. They continued with the project in other city neighborhoods until Devotionalia amounted to more than 80 hours of videotape and 1286 ex-votos. This formed an installation that was shown in the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro in 1996 as a collective appeal, not directed to God (the church) but to a society (from the museum). That same year the project was shown in five places in Europe, including Stroom, The Hague's center for the visual arts. Young people in The Hague were invited to formulate responses to the video messages and ex-votos of the Brazilian street kids in words and images. The project concluded in Rio de Janeiro, where Dias and Riedweg organized events and presentations with some of the children who had participated in 1994. Many of these participant children had died in the meantime. In Witte de With, Dias and Riedweg are showing a new compilation from the 80 hours of footage that was recorded in Brazil. Dias & Riedweg have been working together since 1993. Building on their earlier experiences, in the visual arts (Dias) and in theater and music (Riedweg), their work is decidedly interdisciplinary and is produced in close collaboration with specific groups in society.