You – Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom 2015
The artwork was conceived to question the difficult concept of equality. The monumental white sculpture is made of bronze and is located in two places: physical space and memory.
In the physical space, the You interacts with its surroundings and triggers all kinds of reactions in the spectators, who relate to it physically. In the realm of imagination, it captures the meaning of pointing at the other, of being equal and different at the same time. What is the real meaning of equality?
With two index fingers pointing at each other without touching, a sculpture that looks white although it is made of bronze and looks real but is not, Rivelino discloses the ambiguity, ambivalence and misunderstanding of the contemporary concept of equality.
The figures face each other in perfect symmetry. Nothing in them allows us to figure out any kind of hierarchy —their formal identity embodies an evident conceptual equality. The work generates three different perspectives: the others facing each other (them); them facing me (the others and I) and “all together” (the step from I to us).
You offers a unique aesthetic experience, inextricable from its ethical gist: the sterile solitude of individualism, the moral choice involved in joining the others or remaining unconcerned, the anguish caused by being pointed at by others, the awareness of human codependency and the courage to be part of collective action.
In a clearly unfair world, this work invites us to question our views on such an important subject as equality among human beings.