Friday, 29. October 2010
My interest in Monica Rizzolli‘s work stems from when I learned about various performance projects she was involved in. One of those is her work for In.CoRpo.Ro (2004-2007), an artistic event organised in São Paulo, consisting of three editions and fourth one in form of a magazine, and dealing with issues of performance art and practice as well as integrating seminars and theoretic debates. Monica works with topics evolving around the body, gender, human relations, and their role in society. One of her performances, “Lição de Afeto“ (Lesson of Affect - 2003/2004) included asking people on the São Paulo subway for hugs. In a place that is usually crowded, but where people rarely interact and may even feel isolated, the artist put the frontiers between private and public space, approximation and separation into question and challenged notions of accepted and normal behaviour. Coming from a performance background and with an art education from the university UNESP, Monica still engages with those topics in the paintings she produces today.
I am visiting her studio in Santo Amaro. It is a two-storey house that belongs to a photographer and which allows for a lot of space for her to work. On the second floor of the building, Monica has set up her easel. At the moment I visit her, she is just finishing works for her exhibition at the newly opening Central Galeria de Arte in Pinheiros in November 2010.
In her paintings, the traces of performance remain. Monica tells me that living in the centre of São Paulo and being in contact with transvestites and their scene, influenced her work and her involvement with questions of gender and sexuality. Her series “Fêmea“ (Female - 2008) evolves around these issues, approaching questions of power relations, pornography, desire and the role of women in society.
The series “Amores Possíveis“ (Possible Loves - 2009) deals with the notion of closeness and distance in human relations. In these paintings, Monica shows possible approximations and convergences between human bodies, depicting their shades penetrating the silhouettes of another person, assuming a bodily and mental proximity, while the figures‘ bodies are separated by spatial elements they cannot overcome. These works remind me of the performance in the subway, talking about approximation and overcoming a distance - or failing to do so.
Monica shows me a sketch book which turns out to be a major study on patterns and ornaments made up of stripes, triangles and circles. They remind of sketches for tattoos and tribals such us those employed by indigenous cultures. Monica explains that they display yet another relation to the human body, since they come from indigenous Brazilian body painting. In her studies, Monica collects different shapes and forms of them, but also assembles various other patterns such as the shape of water in movement and of kinetic waves. Thus, she gathers and produces a typology or almost cartography of these designs. Over the years, she has collected hundreds of them in form of sketches in her book. These patterns can be found in her paintings, where they make up different areas and fields of colour, thus constituting the figures and shapes in her works. The patterns lead back to the question of the body, our relation to it and also transfer these issues to our social relationships and display of the private in the public sphere.
Posted by Stefanie Hessler at 11:51 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Defined tags for this entry: body, gender, in.corpo.ro, indigenous, monica rizzolli, painting, performance, relationship, sexuality, subway, tattoo
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Oi Stefanie! Eu acabei de conhecer a Monica hoje quando passei na galeria onde ela atualemente tem sua atelier. Ela me passou o blog dela e vi sua matéria E tambem que voce trabalhou no Goethe, quer dizer, onde meu marido, Felipe, trabalha. Que mundo/cidade pequeno! É uma pena que ele nao me tinha falado que tinha alguem estagiando que estava interessada em arte. Com certeza, a gente teria tido muito em que conversar. Voce deve estar de volta para Europa logo mais más, se tiver interes para combinar alguma coisa antes de que vai embora, me manda um email!