BR 101

Debora Hirsch
Gabi Scardi, 2008

BR-101 is Brazil’s main road. It is a federal road which, running parallel to the ocean, cuts longitudinally through the entire country, traversing its various states. Although it has a name that refers to it in its entirety, the BR-101 is given different denominations in each state is passes through. Every day, on the BR-101, cars, buses and all sorts of vehicles circulate: a hurly-burly of people and moods, an endless transmigration of people compelled by different motivations. The road is traveled by inhabitants of São Paulo, leaving the city in search of pleasantness on coastal beaches; but also by those who, moved by necessity, leave the more backwards north of the country to set out on voyages of hope towards the more developed and wealthier south.

BR-101 by Debora Hirsch is a photographic work, but also a voyage amid the contradictions and paradoxes of a country that the artist knows well, having been born and raised there. It is a work that expresses a particular viewpoint: that of someone who, having left her country of origin, has experienced distance, and exchanges; someone who has known diverse lifestyles and cultures and in the process has gained new awareness of the conventions in which she grew up and was educated. In fact, Debora Hirsch left São Paulo years ago, and has lived in Europe, and distance and dislocation have allowed her to observe her own country with a renewed gaze, one that is both participatory and distant.

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