Dena Yago You and You`re People When Franz Biberkopf
You and You're People
When Franz Biberkopf, the protagonist of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (a
TV version of Alfred Döblin's original 1929 novel of the same title), is released from jail he
struggles with that basic human feeling of guilt when you realize that you should be happy
but you’re not. Fear sets in as he looks out at the open world and encounters his freedom
again. The cruelty lies in the abstraction of a thing as concrete as prison. The chapter title
“Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in Walls” shows this ambiguity well. The walls are
only as thick as loneliness. In the misfiring between word and meaning, being in prison is not
the same thing as being imprisoned.
Dena Yago’s “You and You're People” includes 13 images of dogs in a park. The images depict
dogs at rest in a fenced-in (fence not depicted) space otherwise meant for exercise and
recreation. Chapter titles - themselves markers of pause in a picaresque story that is just as
much about process as results - are connected to these images of ambiguous stasis and
movement and human-animal relations. “You and You're People” is Dena Yago’s first show to
include text in a body of work that continuously contemplates the relation of text to image.
Like the multiple dogs represented in the images “Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in
Walls” or “A Handful of People in the Depths of Silence,” image and text make indirect
contact and communicate through codes.
“You and You're People” brings to mind the cordel tradition of Brazil’s northeast, where
popular books hung in markets on cords. It was the technology of the cord that led to the
books’ successes; a formal, non-mimetic, reminder of the accessibility of its content. But
here, the promise of movement encounters its limit in the word-things. A metonymic leap, the
metallic words are made of the same stuff that binds the images to their frames. The tools of
control – leashes and muzzles - are abstracted from the images and materialized again as
objects. The failures that the pícaro stubbles upon in narrative are here the discrete parts
that bound dizzyingly, mirrored across the room.
Rua João Moura 187 , 05412-001 , São Paulo - [email protected] - tel: +55 (11) 2985-2139
Dena Yago (born 1988, USA) is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. Her recent
exhibitions include Heat Island at Gasconade, Milan (2014) and a caelo usque ad centrum
with Laurie Spiegel at Cubitt, London (2014). Yago’s book of poetry, Ambergris, is recently
published by Bodega Press. Along with four other artists and writers,she is a producer of the
trend forecasting report K-HOLE.
Title of the Works
-Die Strafe beginnt | The Punishment Begins | A Punição Começa
-Wie soll man leben, wenn man nicht sterben will | How is One to Live if One Doesn't Want to Die?
| Como se Pode Viver sem Vontade de Morrer?
-Ein Hammer auf den Kopf kann die Seele verletzen | A Hammer Blow to the Head Can Injure the
Soul | Um Golpe de Martelo na Cabeça Pode Ferir a Alma
-Eine Handvoll Menschen in der Tiefe der Stille | A Handful of People in the Depths of Silence | Um
Punhado de Pessoas nas Profundezas do Silêncio
-Ein Schnitter mit der Gewalt vom lieben Gott | A Reaper with the Power of Our Lord | Um Ceifador
Com o Poder do Nosso Senhor
-Eine Liebe, das kostet immer viel | Love Has Its Price | O Amor Tem Seu Preço
-Merke - Einen Schwur kann man amputieren | Remember – An Oath Can Be Amputated
Lembre-se - Um Juramento Pode Ser Amputado
-Die Sonne wärmt die Haut, die sie manchmal verbrennt | The Sun Warms the Skin, but Burns it
Sometimes Too | O Sol Esquenta a Pele, Mas Algumas Vezes Também a Queima
-Von den Ewigkeiten zwischen den Vielen und den Wenigen | About the Eternities Between the
Many and the Few | Sobre as Eternidades Entre os Muitos e os Poucos
-Einsamkeit reißt auch in Mauern Risse des Irrsinns | Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in
Walls | A Solidão Irrompe Rasgos de Loucura Até Nas Paredes
-Wissen ist Macht und Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund | Knowledge is Power and the Early Bird
Catches the Worm | Saber é Poder e Deus Ajuda a Quem Cedo Madruga
-Die Schlange in der Seele der Schlange | The Serpent in the Soul of the Serpent | A Serpente na
Alma da Serpente
-Das Äußere und das Innere und das Geheimnis der Angst vor dem Geheimnis | The Outside and
the Inside and the Secret Fear of the Secret | O Fora e o Dentro e o Medo Secreto do Segredo