The artist has the newspaper [cutouts, photos, etc.] as an essential source in his production. From the collection of images of protests in different newspapers [the collection from the artist is long-standing and is constantly expanding], Matheus elaborates a calendar. But the artist extracts the phrases from the banners and flags and substitutes them for the inscription 1 April 2017.

Matheus Rocha Pitta [Tiradentes, MG, 1980] lives and works at Rio de Janeiro. Represented by the gallery Athena Contemporânea. Recent individual solo shows: Memória menor [MAM Rio, 2018], The Fool’s Year [Athena Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, SOX, Berlin, 2017]. Participou da/ participates at 29º Bienal de São Paulo [2010], II Frestras Trienal de Piracicaba [2017].


“One of the first things that caught my attention upon my arrival in Berlin were the city’s shop windows. Instead of hiring professional designers, shop owners seem to decorate the windows themselves, in a rather amateur, spontaneous and funny way. A copy shop, for example, has a huge display of orchids, whose relationship to printing remains gracefully incomprehensible, unless you imagine the owner’s love for these flowers. My installations in the showcases I rented in two underground stations for my exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien are a homage to these adorable, handmade, do-it-yourself displays.
When invited by SOX to use its vitrine on Oranienstraße, right after my opening, I had to respond quickly: as opposed to my project For the winners the potatoes, which I developed during my one-year residency, I only had two weeks to come up with something new. Time was short, so I decided to take time as my starting point, to be precise, the day of the opening, April 1st, or Fool’s Day.
One reads in the Wikipedia page devoted to it : “In the Middle Ages, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on April 1. Some writers suggest that April Fools’ originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.” So the ones celebrating at another time were regarded as fools – but conversely it exposed the conventions of time measuring.
So Today, on April 1st, here in the street I present The Fool’s Year, a calendar in which every day is Fool’s Day – the entire year condensed and frozen in one single day, or, a single initial day dilated and diluted into a year.
Each and every day is represented by a newspaper photograph of protesters holding posters, banners or flags, whose specific political claim I carefully removed and substituted, early this morning, by the date April 1st, just as it is freshly printed in today’s newspapers. These images come from my own archive, which I feed almost every day with newspaper photographs. I love the language of protest, one doesn’t need to agree with its content to love it. I have been collecting such pictures for almost eight years, regardless of their political claim, regardless of their place and date. It is an archive of gestures, of pure “mediality” without “finality”.
So Today you see 365 images of protest, 365 days of the past that claim nothing other than the awareness of Today. For to be regarded as a fool is only a matter of being out of time, of breaking the clocks, as Benjamin cites in his 15th thesis on the concept of history:
‘Who would have believed it!   
We are told that new Joshuas at the foot of every tower,
as though irritated with
time itself, fired at the dials
in order to stop the day.'”


The Fool’s Year

Matheus Rocha Pitta


ISBN 9788567769158
780 pages
Portuguese/ English
1000 copies
30 special edition of na original Fool’s Day
R$ 40,00
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