They are here | Marcos Kurkinaitis_
In They are here, the faces of Brazilians persecuted by the military regime, officially considered missing, are made present through a process that combines the drawing of observation and the imagination. Based on old photographs of these victims absent from the Brazilian civil-military dictatorship, Thiago Navas from São Paulo elaborates "aged" portraits of these people, trying to imagine them as they would today. Instead of portraying them from the images that remained of them, from their memory, the artist chooses to imagine them as they would be decades later, bringing them into the present. By applying to their faces the marks of the passage of time, one can imagine the future they did not have and, in parallel, an alternative reality for the country, where so many lives had not been hindered - or thrown into darkness - unjustly and early. With this simple operation, but of great force, the work restores bodies to those incorporeal tornadoes, visibility to those made invisible.
Through this work, Navas restores the future denied to so many persecuted of the military regime - and to the own country. The penetrating glances of each one of the portrayed ones go to the spectator with gravity, urging him not to forget them and not to forget his destiny, his fight, his pain. To contemplate these dozens of faces at once - and to be contemplated by them as well - is an experience that literally brings us face to face with the human dimension of political tragedy. In each face, we seek answers to the mystery of lives that have not been lived, we find traces of all experiences denied to those people, just as their friends and family were denied the possibility of living with them. Now they emerge from the darkness in which they were launched to invite us to reflect on our history, our present and our future.