Chácara Paraíso

Police Art Show

By Stefan Kaegi / Lola Arias

Chácara Paraíso, São Paulo, is the location of the largest center of soldier’s education of the Military Police in Latin America.  Every day, more that 2000 soldiers learn how to march, approach, and attack there. There is even a favela-simulation-set for policemen to rehearse and simulate incidences that are, according to them, “as close to reality as possible”.

Can the police actually simulate crime? Can artists represent the police?

The theatre directors Lola Arias (Argentina), and Stefan Kaegi (Germany/Switzerland), who are working together for the first time, visited the police-centers for education and training, the graduation ceremonies, the centers of psychological assistance, cavalries, the Musical Body, and even the Military Police’s chapel, in São Paulo. During this research, a heterogeneous and amazing image of the police institute arose, a society within society.

Chácara Paraíso [Small farm Paradise] was the name chosen for a form of installation which mingles documentary and fiction, showing biographies of people who, at some point of their lives, experienced the police universe. The play challenges the public’s perception, for it questions the fast distinction between “good” and “bad”. The empty space on the 14th floor of the SESC in Avenida Paulista, now under renovation, will be filled with art by people (not actors). They reconstruct autobiographical scenes which, at times, may appear fictional. The public will walk through the rooms in small groups. With this, the live exhibit aims to create an intimate and subjective experience with policemen, former policemen, and their families. Here plicemen are inhenced to speak in a way they are not allowed to in their position as guardians of law and order: Here they speak in first person.

Direction: Stefan Kaegi, Lola Arias
With: Roberto (Fire brigade/Ex- Policeman), Flávia (Emergency Telephone Operator), Marcel (Double Bass Player in the Military Police Music Corps), Sargento Amorim (Police Dog Trainer) with Agatha (Retired Police Dog), Sebastião (Retired Policeman), Cleber (Policeman dismissed for homicide), Eliana (Ex- Tra c Policewoman), Luis Carlos (Ex-bodyguard of the Governor of São Paulo), Thiago (Officer in a private security firm)