Carrying the cross of Facebook through the streets of Lisbon is Filipe Vilas-Boas' commentary on social media and all the digital platforms of today. In the light of the many privacy scandals regarding our ultra-digitized world, French-Portuguese artist Filipe Vilas-Boas chose an artistic performance act to draw attention to our daily overuse of Social Media, which might prove to be a very hard cross to bear for us and our future.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal, the Facebook Congress Hearing, the public outrage against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's handling of privacy information and you can add to that the last Google Assistant listening to people's conversation or Google Photos' safety problems and we already got a world full of privacy issues. Our constant Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit etc. addiction is going to rob us of our deepest secrets and most intimate private matters. It's called "big data" and it can help win elections, shape the way nations think and act and just simply endow certain organizations with the power to secretly manipulate large masses of people. The psychology of masses just got much easier to read and exploit.
Vilas-Boas just got down to the streets of Lisbon to perform his artistic act. From the Zaratan Contemporary Art Gallery in Lisbon, and to the city's Jardim da Estrela, Filipe walks through the streets of the Portuguese capital city, carrying a big rendering of Facebook's logo "F" like a modern Jesus Christ bearing his cross.
The F(acebook) cross is made of timber and nails and it measures 340x200x30 cm. Filipe Vilas-Boas is a 38-year-old self-taught conceptual artist whose works aim at questioning our fast-growing digitized world and the impact the social media platforms have on the political and social environment of this century. Filipe is currently holding a solo show called "EDEN" at the Zaratan Arte Contemporanea Gallery in Lisbon and the F(acebook) cross is part of that show.
What do you think of this contemporary artistic performance act? The emotional impact is really great and can strike as bold, at least. Seeing the artist carrying the Facebook cross through the Lisbon streets sends shivers down my spine. What about you?
3. The final part of the performance – the ‘F’ ready for crucifiction