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Art of Dispersion: León Ferrari & Hudinilson Jr.

25 February - 25 March 2022

Art Exchange, University of Essex

In the 1960s, the Xerox photocopier was introduced in Brazil as part of a neoliberal military regime’s attempt to modernise the country. Photocopiers became the norm in offices throughout São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, becoming a symbol of the regime’s bureaucracy. By the late 1970s, artists in São Paulo began to experiment with this machine and explore new ways of creating artworks, coming together as Xerografia, the Xerography movement.

This exhibition brings together León Ferrari and Hudinilson Jr, two of Xerography’s most influential artists, to explore their appropriation of commercial printing techniques as a means for institutional critique and political emancipation. Ferrari and Hudinilson Jr created works which were radical by the very nature of their reproducibility –photocopying allowed the works, and their radical messages, to become ephemeral and plural; circulated outside the gallery and therefore beyond the reach of the government, creating dispersive networks of communication.

Despite exhibiting together frequently, this is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the works of Ferrari and Hudinilson Jr from this period, two bodies of works that have gained renewed relevance within Brazil’s current authoritarian reality.

The exhibition brings together works from ESCALA and includes a recent donation of works by Hudinilson Jr by his family. ESCALA would like to thank Dr Lisa Blackmore (School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex) for mediating the donation of Hudinilson Jr works. 

* Please note: This exhibition contains sexually explicit material and is not suitable for children under 18. 

Image: Hudinilson Jr Sem titulo (da série Espelha-me) (Untitled, from the series Mirror-me) (detail), 1980s ESCALA 3:5/2-2021