Pedro Barateiro is one of the key protagonist of the young generation of Portuguese artists. His practice incorporates numerous media, spanning from the performative, over installation, sculpture, film, or drawing. Barateiro’s work can be understood in two conceptual and frequently intertwining layers. The first of the two is work with found – frequently archival material, used rather than for documentary purposes, for the construction of a new narrative or mental scenario. Subjects that are frequently surfaced in Barateiro’s work, touch up on the period of modernity, roots of neo-liberalism, postmodernity or post-colonialism, and their direct relation/influence up on the present social, political and economical order.
The second layer in Barateiro’s practice tackles the subject of spectatorship, the division of power and the power struggle between the author (creator), the work and its spectator. Barateiro’s complex installations frequently composed from numerous elements and inter-related objects, point to, and question this authoritative regime, which is rooted in the idea of the passive vs. active, actor vs. spectator. Barateiro’s installations form a democratic environment and point to a possibility of collective creation and participation, this not only within the context of the visual, but also and most importantly, in the general context of contemporary society and the global economical command.