Carrying the Cross

Filipe Vilas-Boas (PT/FR)

Carrying the Cross is a durational performance that has been derived from an ongoing body of work investigating global interconnection utopia, spiritual magic and contemporary algorithmic slavery dystopia. The artist carries a giant sculptural “f” through the streets of Linz – the crucifixion marking the pinnacle moment of the performance.

Conceived as a commentary on digital platforms and, more generally, on the growing weight of the private sector both in the public space and in the private sphere, the performative procession was originally conceived as part of “EDEN”, Filipe Vilas-Boas’ solo show at Zaratan Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon during July 2019. In September 2019, the performance was reenacted in London around Tate Modern, as part of the Tate Ex-change program curated by Hyphen Labs. The piece aims to stimulate discussion on issues surrounding digital platforms, such as privacy, data extractivism, surveillance capitalism, digital labor and algorithm biases. Carrying the Cross draws on the emotiveness of hope and oppression within the parameters of digitalization where technology meets religion.

Filipe Vilas-Boas (* 1981) is a French-Portuguese self-taught conceptual artist. He currently lives and works in Paris. Without being a naive tech utopist or a reluctant technophobe, he explores our use of digital media platforms, its aesthetic implications, and political, social and environmental repercussions. His installations, performances and conceptual artworks question the global digitalization of our societies, mostly by merging our physical and digital worlds. His works were highlighted in the Portuguese Emerging Art Books, 2018 & 2019 Edition, and have been shown internationally notably at Nuit Blanche Paris, the UNESCO, Biennale Siana, Le Cube in Issy-les-Moulineaux, The French Ministry of Culture, Némo Biennial in Paris, Athens Digital Art Festival, Monitor – Heraklion Contemporary Arts Festival, Zaratan, MAAT Museum and Tate Modern.