2006 Installation, art in public space

16 jackets (8 in the exhibition; 8 worn by the gang in the street)
Developed for 27th Sao Paulo Biennale, “How to live together”, Brazil


In Sao Paulo, Esra Ersen began to work with a group of young gang members who were part of a rehabilitation project which attempted to reintegrate them into society. The artist describes the process by which the power established by the dynamics of the gang’s coming together and using initiative to realize their desires becomes one of the social initiatives. Ersen is dealing with the possibility of the gangs rehabilitate the society. Can the gangs reverse their rehabilitation by society and at the same time can they transform into a social initiative? Both the leather jackets and the text on the jackets have been collaboratively produced by the artist and gang members, and tell the meaning behind their violent crimes and show questions and answers of what they wish to ask society. Eight jackets, which are identical to those exhibited here, are currently being worn by gang members in the streets of Sao Paulo. Rehabilitation was created for 27th Sao Paulo Biennial of the theme To Live Together in 2006. The Texts have been written on the back of the Jackets:


A rua me ensina o que o teu lho nunca ira aprender

The Street teaches me what your kid will never learn


O pior bandido roba e aparece na tv de terno e gravata

The worst criminals steals and appears on TV in a suit


Em país de ladrão, quem rouba mais é presidente!

In a country of thieves, the one who steals the most is the president! 


Inteligencia em recesso, capacidade em greve. Brasil! Zil! Mil!

Intelligence in recess, capacity on strike. Brazil! Zil! Zil! 


Desordem e Regresso

Disorder and regression. 

(counterpoint of “Order and Progress” which is printed on the national flag)


Pra que votar se a podrera vai contuinuar

Why vote, poverty will continue


O sistema falha, nóis atua!

The system fails, we act! 


Puro vandalismo

Pure vandalism