10 Bienal do Mercosul. Porto Alegre
Curated by Gabirl Pérez Barreiro and Ticio Escobar.
This work was made as part of the Bienal’s artist in residency programme, which took place in the area of the triple border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Whereas other artists worked with the landscape or the indigenous towns, Gili chose to work with the moto-taxi drivers that populate the border between Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay, and Foz de Iguaçú in Brazil.
Between the legal and the illegal, between one country and another, these moto-taxi drivers continuously help to move small quantities of products between the wholesale shopping malls in the tax-free area of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, and the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguaçú, where these products are most likely further subsumed into the Brazilian economy. Jaime Gili created stickers for the bikers, using the letters of the word TAXI and elongating them in such a way as to make them illegible. The result was reminiscent of 1970s go-faster stripes and ‘speed decorations’. The stickers were given to the bikers and, through creative workshops in every one of the hundreds of groups and cooperatives that work in the area, they were encouraged to use them on their helmets and bikes. Later the work, together with some traded helmets, metal signs and the enlarged paintings of the stickers, was exhibited at the Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre.