The work of Felipe de Ávila Franco has already been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions in Europe, United States, South America and Asia at distinct galleries and museums such as the Helsinki Art Museum HAM, and the Im Kornerpark Gallery, in Berlin, besides the Museum of Brazilian Art FAAP, in São Paulo, and the Contemporary Art Museum KIASMA, in Helsinki, in which his work integrates the collections.
How to Postpone the End, 2021
The exhibition suggests an encounter among modern and rudimentary technologies and a clash between scientific perspectives and a more ancient and grounded cosmovision to mitigate this fearful, disturbed, and impersonal corporeity of the so absent contexts of the present.
The Trillionth Tonne, 2022
The invisible shadow of an unearthed rock hovers upon our times. It is predicted that one trillion tonnes of anthropogenic carbon emissions can be allocated into the atmosphere by 2040, and if exceeded that limit reversing climate change and its devastating effects might be impossible.
The work consists of four see-through travel suitcases with heart-shaped elements resting inside. The hearts are made of terracotta and porcelain combined with contaminated soil material collected from different sites of Finland and Brazil where mining industry activities has been reported as responsible for environmental contamination. The work addresses a difficult aspect of the current social-environmental crisis: the contamination of land and water and how it affects humans. The work conceptually invites to reflections on how the geographically distant dystopias deeply affect our immediate reality in both material and immaterial levels, regardless of where we are.
Polluted Polygons, 2021
Made out of engine lubricant oil and industrial residues, the viscous pigment is transferred to the paper using as matrix fragments of engines, mechanic components, and other industrial discarded parts, besides shards from traffic accidents collected from suburb areas where industrial activity and traffic are reported as the main causes of air pollution and environmental contamination.
Futures in Display, 2019-21
Prosaic objects become signs of history, which have to be deciphered. So the poet becomes not only a naturalist or an archaeologist, excavating the fossils and unpacking their poetic potential, he also becomes a kind of symptomatologist, delving into the dark underside or the unconscious of a society to decipher the messages engraved in the very flesh of ordinary things. (The Aesthetic Revolution and its Outcomes - Jacques Ranciere)
Future Fossils, 2020-21
Future archaeology will come across varied kinds of objects and remains, damned and contaminated with the memory of the times when the present was turning into a predictable dystopian stratum of the future.
Once incorporated and transformed by the action of the elements, climate, and time, these materials and structures are now transfigured from simple objects into artifacts that, beyond mere debris and remains, "portray and manifest the consummated revolt of nature".
Favela Offshore, 2019-21
The video installation recreates originally steady landscape pictures of offshore platforms with the superposition of large favela images. Through video edition processing, the elements in the landscape gained motion to connect both structures over a surrealistic fictional-reality.
Fossil fuel is a source of power that creates ambiguity and perplexity. It enabled human society to achieve beyond the imaginable, at the same time becoming the shortest way to a rough and dystopian future. At the same time that it nourishes the motors of development apparently bringing thriving and prosperity, its production, usage, and ownership poison the environment and produces inequality and large social gaps from economic and democratic disruptions.
Provoked Archaeologies #2, 2019
The act of excavating, investigating in order to reveal, protect and preserve what unites present and past, supplying history with evidence, exposes the dichotomy of an invasive action which at the same time creates a rupture with the integrity of time and space, aggressively affecting that hidden reality and manifesting an antithesis of the principles of preservation and protection.
The Last Man on Earth, 2019
The work is inspired by the book Last and First Men, a scientific novel written in 1930 by the British writer Olaf Stapledon. The book describes the Earth two billion years ahead of us when a future race of humans is on the verge of extinction. Almost all that remains in the world are solitary and surreal concrete monuments, transmitting their message to the desert, witnessing the collision between notions of time, history, and oblivion.
Tropical Delusion, 2018
The photograph series consists of seven digitally processed images portraying the ruins left by the biggest environmental disaster ever registered in the history of Brazil, and questions the idea of 'nature as something separated from human society'.
The work alludes to the behavior of the mud from the biggest environmental disaster in Brazilian history, in the moment it reached the Doce river waters, creating a curtain that descends until the rivers' bed, blocking the light and altering the river forever. The work is inspired by a piece of traditional handcraft, usually sold as a souvenir at touristic regions of the Brazilian coast.
Melting Darks, 2018
The work is part of a series of investigations regarding the relations between the motion of non-solid substances and notions of perception of time and space. The piece materializes the paradox of the movement and behaviour of 'energy' as a material and a substance, a difficult concept to discuss ontologically, being energy something diluted between the realms of science and spirituality. Both materials involved in the construction of this piece - the dark oil and the bright light - configure materialities that are central in the perpetration of the industrial society as a technological machinery and a gigantic extension of ourselves; expanding through space and whose effect can last in time, exceed life, generations, and even the human species itself.
In physics, dissipation encompasses the concept of a dynamic system where important mechanical models, such as waves or oscillations, lose energy over time. The lost energy is converted into heat, raising the temperature of the system.
A ceramic series was produced by incorporating the contaminated soil from the largest environmental disaster in Brazilian history, when in November 2015 an iron ore tailings dam suffered a catastrophic failure, leaking 60 million cubic meters of ore tailings into nature, destroying 700 Km of river waters before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean 17 days later.
Provoked Archaeologies #1, 2017
The performance consisted of pouring petroleum to complete the sculpture 'All Well' and graffiti stamping the words 'Post Truth' with black spray paint for the piece 'White Flags'. The action led to the installation Provoked Archaeologies #1 connecting both works in an attempt of materializing the intrinsic connection between ideology, discourse and environmental exploitation.
The Earth is hidden under layers of concrete. It has become so prevalent in construction that more than half of all the concrete ever used was produced in the past 20 years. Humans have produced enough concrete to thinly pave the entire surface of the Earth. The concrete blocks relate to the industrialized society’s exponential growth, which demands more supplies, more production, and therefore, increasing exploitation of the resources and land that once was home to indigenous populations.
Wall Flow, 2017
The use of fossil fuels has intoxicated human imagination and warped human knowledge, how they have accelerated time and constituted illusions of distance and separateness not just in popular or political culture but in philosophy as well. (Energy and Experience: An Essay in Nafthology, By Antti Salminen & Tere Vadén)
Deconstruction by its very nature defies institutionalization in an authoritative definition. It is a name commonly associated with the philosopher Jacques Derrida’s critical outlook on the relationship between language and the construction of meaning.
Ode to Anthropocene, 2016
Solids have clear spatial dimensions while fluids do not possess any specific form and cannot hold their shape. Solids cancel time while for the fluid, by contrast, it is the flow of time that matters, not the space they happen to occupy, once they take this space only 'for a moment'.
Land, Lake and Landscape, 2017
Everything is eroded and corroded by the action of time, the same thing that heals and renews, in a continuous process of balance and improvement. It is a non-linear, delicate, time-consuming, and varied process, with so many complexities and confrontations to be considered that it often seems to be out of control.
Same Rome Revolutions, 2016
The work consists of a pair of rubber wheels which are spinning-steady over a trail containing a layer of dark oil. Attached to chains and propelled by electric engines the wheels attempts to move forwards are in vain, perpetually spinning but never advancing.
The Metropole is one of the main symbols of the modern era, the highest levels of civilization's development. The work questions the aura of power and desire that underpins the paradigm of modern society also contained in monumental structures built through the exploitation of resources and in the growth of production and consumption, guided by the domination of the petrochemical industry.