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  • Writer's pictureAlysson Camargo

The visibility of the invisible in Lucas Sertifa’s photographic collages

Lucas Sertifa uses his photographic collages as a manual for citizen education through the gaze. I wonder if we lost our ability to care for others or if. we never received a social education in order to have this ethical commitment? Art can be an interesting place to awaken this spark about looking at the other that has hitherto been invisible to our eyes.

Lucas Sertifa photographed several aspects of the heart of Brazil’s federal capital, in the area around the bus station, one of the most representative places of the brazilian cultural melting-pot. At the moment when the artist removes people from his photographs, he highlights a daily unconscious act. In a very sophisticated way, we learn to ignore homeless people, migrants from other states and countries that belong in the periphery of the world, as if they were part of the urban landscape like monuments of architecture.

I really like the poem “Portrait of the artist when a thing” by Manoel de Barros “The greatest wealth of man is his incompleteness […] I can’t stand being just a guy who opens doors, pulls valves, looks at his watch, who he buys bread at 6 pm, who goes outside, who sharpens pencils, who sees the grape etc.etc. Forgive me. But I need to be Others” I believe that this incompleteness is a natural impulse that confronts the other, to finally create other worlds, in addition to being fundamental for also understanding the centrality of culture in the constitution of the individual.

Lucas Sertifa shakes our eyes so that we can finally see. This historic debt of “not staring” grows geometrically day by day. We still live in Brazil where virtual “landlords’ houses” and “slaves’ quarters” have replaced the real ones. We have perfected the techniques of not seeing or selecting only what is comfortable for the eyes. It is our responsibility as privileged populations to face these challenges with actions with the objective of decolonizing our gaze and cultivating our empathy, and compassion towards the invisible that are nowadays more visible than ever.

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