Mario Asef – Framing appropriation. Typus N.

Written by Roberta Coletto

One of the earliest justifications for private property has been the occupation theory: the action of entering and taking control in order to own portions of social capital is depicted as a right for us to have.
With the intervention Mundaça, Mario Asef implicitly researches how land and territories assets are socially and economically related to the conquering of space, social power and expansion. The work is part of a series of on-going situational interventions in public space divided into four subcategories Typus K, Typus L, Typus D, Typus N; respectively: intervention’s related to the artist’s side jobs, acts of donations, philosophical observations and concepts, and interventions in public space.
Mundaça tells a story of the farmers belonging to Movimiento sem Terra (Movement of Landless People), in Typus N interventions, who took over state land in the city of Sao Sabastiao, near Brasilia. Asef himself, echoed them by, confining a piece of land with a rope, outlining both the functioning of the occupation theory and the power of these signs. The rope works as a temporarily signifier of appropriation in a non-verbal communication system.
The non-natural geographies are produced in times as a common cultural human practice. As a matter of fact the dominant social classes have always played the major role in the division of property which appears to work in reference to agreements: socially acceptance by a group and official recognition or appropriation. The edge of social impact goes through making territorial occupation a implied agreement or a forced invasion.
At the first stage, the intervention Mundaça, is addressed to people walking through and passing by a field. Implying a conscious and alert spectatorship where the perception is honed around the transposition of a sign and significance of common objects into another context. Formally the work is a combination of text and documentary photography bringing together the transposition of signs that are present around us. In this case it is outside the cultural raum, in the public space.
The importance of combining rhetoric and text language is consistently present in Asef’s work: for him it is not self-explanatory but rather taking an active role in the formal aesthetic language.

Photo credits: Mario Asef, Mudança, c-print, 2006