Carrying The Cross is a durational performance by artist Filipe Vilas-Boas that has been derived from an ongoing body of work investigating global interconnection utopia, spiritual magic and contemporary algorithmic slavery dystopia. Born in 1981, Filipe Vilas-Boas is a French-Portuguese conceptual artist based in Paris, who works on a variety of projects that question society’s use of digital media platforms and its political, social and environmental repercussions.
Constructed from timber and nails and measuring 340 x 200 x 50 cm, a giant sculptural ‘f’ is carried collectively through the streets by the artist and the public ready for 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’, Vilas-Boas’ solo show at Zaratan Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon during July 2019. 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 digitalisation where technology meets religion.
The performance was reenacted in London around Tate Modern, part of the Tate Exchange programme curated by Hyphen Labs. From September 17-29 2019, the Tate Modern workshop and exhibition questioned our relationships with digital platforms, the power behind technology and how art can be used as a tool of intervention.
Artist: Filipe Vilas-Boas