sculpture 'Superman' by Daniel Paul, where indigenous identity confronts modernity in a captivating visual narrative

Title: Superman
Medium: Sculpture
Material: eco-plastic, polyester, acrylic
Size: 135/53,2 x 50/19,7 x 40/15,8 cm/in
Year: 2020
Collection: Turbofolk

Sculptural Essence

The sculpture, aptly titled Superman, presents a striking visual narrative through the embodiment of a Brazilian indigenous figure shedding its skin. The character, reminiscent of a comic book hero, symbolically unveils layers of identity, paralleling the concealed true self of the conventional superhero beneath the formal costume. Positioned atop a cubic pedestal, the indigenous figure stands in stark contrast to the illustrative cityscape that adorns the base, creating a symbolic dichotomy between the natural environment of the indigenous persona and the urban landscape.

Metamorphosis of Identity

The sculpture delves into the theoretical realm by portraying the indigenous figure’s metamorphosis from its inherent nature into a domesticated hero equipped to combat oppression and exploitation within the arena of modern civilization. This transformation underscores the complex interplay between cultural identity, societal expectations, and the dynamics of contemporary existence. The work invites contemplation on the assimilation of indigenous cultures into mainstream narratives, exploring how individuals navigate their roots while engaging with the challenges posed by the evolving socio-cultural landscape.

Folklore, Society, and “Superman”

Superman serves as a provocative satire, prompting reflection on the profound influence of societal domestication and education on our innate wildness. It poses questions about the preservation of folklore, raising awareness about the potential paradox wherein efforts to salvage cultural heritage may inadvertently contribute to its erosion. The sculpture challenges viewers to ponder the delicate balance between cultural preservation and the transformative forces of modernity, compelling a nuanced examination of the impact of societal evolution on our primal essence. In essence, Superman transcends its physical form to become a thought-provoking discourse on the intricate interweaving of tradition and contemporary existence.

Who is the hero of today? What are the roles we play? Are they important? Are we creators, players, or both? Do we see and use our true powers, or do we dream about the super ones? When less is more and more is less? When to act and when to stop? Do we really have enough time?