In NÓS (US and KNOTS at the same time), which is in TRÄMA and in the cover of the virtual book of the MAC, Museum of Contemporary Art of the University Of São Paulo, we see a character submitted to the Garrote Vil. The garrote was a form of execution that was in use in
Spain from the nineteenth century until 1974. It was an alternative penalty in
addition to the firing squad, besides the decapitation, both destined for the
nobility, the rich people or people of social projection. Hence the word vile
added to the device name.
The execution of Salvador Puig Antich, a militant anarchist and Heins Ches, the false name of a German who, for no apparent reason, killed two policemen in 1974, caused a great commotion. Newspapers published; Tápies showed in Paris a series of engravings in memory of Puig; and many people were astonished at the method and the fact that witnesses denied the crime.
I read the news but had not see pictures of the execution. Thinking of what that would be, I attached myself to a pole in an imaginary position and made me photograph. During those moments I imagined NÓS. The photos in the imaginary garrote composed the record of this performance; were used for the photomontage acquired by the KADIST Collection; gave resource for the series ou, in S8 ; and the visual poem bord.
A few years later I used the highly suggestive title for a new performance whose documentary photos appear in NÓS VT (version II) and in the sequences "il corpo che cade" and "e caddi come corpo morto cade" of the album with the same title.
From the experience I composed, the Crisis of the Existence (Crise da Existência em Me; Crise da Existência em Te; Crise da Existência em SE) that are in the album Em Quatro Desentende-se Melhor (In Four We Disagrees Better) where it also appear, Mauricio Fridman; Marcelo Nitsche and Guinter Parschalk.
The interview with Francisco Salas, PM8 Galeria, published in Artissima, 2016, Turin, Italy, adds explanations to the theme:
Interview to Francisco Salas, PM8 Galerie, 2016:
Nós came from the same internal source: my impression about violence against the individual. I can explain it more specifically, describing the 3 versions of Nós, not only the 2 you mentioned. First of all nós, in Portuguese, can mean us or knot, at the same time.
The first version was made, as printing and collage, when I heard about the assassination of Salvador Puig Antich, by Franco’s government in 1974. As you know he was submitted to the “garrote vil”. He was about my age, a few years younger, and I got deadly impressed. So I installed a wooden devise looking like the garrote and stood there, tied, to feel how it would be like. It was 1975.
Nós (Versão II)
The VT version was taken inside the instalation and shows a shooting with someone’s body failing down, interleaved by a face in the mirror and the empity pants liing in the foor. In such a subjectivity action the face in the mirror, my own face, has a very deep meaning following Lacan.
Gabriel Borba, 2018