Get Up, Stand Up juxtaposes two videos that poignantly address social activism. Chim ↑ Pom, a Japanese artist collective based in Tokyo, and Brazilian artist Cinthia Marcelle navigate through the public sphere, turning encounters into indelible images that embrace the fine line between order and disorder. Their videos are contagious, encouraging participation as they linger in our minds long after the experience of watching them. They get under our skin, embed in our consciousness, and in turn, the world around us never looks the same.
Chim ↑ Pom’s KI-AI (100 Cheers) is a rousing video made in 2011 in the village of Soma, located 50km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant and, like many towns in the region, was devastated by the Tokoku earthquake, the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 and the nuclear reactor failure. Gathered with local teenagers from Soma, they huddle together cheering various phrases that express their hopes, fears and dreams. By the end, one senses the urgency and the energy they have summoned up to “conquer" this new reality.
The power of a collective act, sometimes rising up without warning, is also brought to light in Cinthia Marcelle’s cacophonous Confronto. Filmed at a typical crosswalk in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Marcelle captures a seemingly unremarkable scene taking place at an intersection; cars wait for a traffic light to turn from red to green while jugglers perform. Their subtle intervention gradually builds into a traffic barrier. What begins as playful entertainment for idle motorists, reveals itself as an understated gesture of protest, highlighting the potential for chaos to ensue when social systems are thrown off balance.
– Marisa C. Sánchez, Associate Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art
KI-AI 100 (100 Cheers) (video still), 2011, ChimPom, video, 5’ 07” loop, color with sound. © ChimPom / Courtesy of MUJIN-TO production, Tokyo.