These men arrived to Lisbon by the estuary of the Tajo River, in the cold autumn of 2009. In front, of the Marquis of Pombal – enlightened despot who in the 18th century reconstructed the city that was devastated by an earthquake and introduced Portugal to European modernity – they were placed in a row. Not far from there, in the city of Estoril, presidents and culture ministers that participated in the 19th Ibero-American Summit for Heads of State and Government that were in favor of artistic exchange and celebrated multiculturalism. We do not know how many found themselves with these silent guardians, although the sensitive press continued to establish a link between them and even named Rivelino an alter-globalization artist. What is true is that formally speaking there was no such relationship; there was someone who conceived it and associated both events.
Much more relevant is thousands of passersby noticed that the gag that covers the mouths of the figures – imposed or spoiled, taken or given – is only superimposed and as a consequence be revoked at any moment. Once more: the imperceptible shout of these colossal statues was revealing and – paraphrasing the trite common place – made it clear that our silences say more than a thousand words.