Entries tagged as fernanda chieco
Friday, 28. January 2011
Flycatchers, tongues, and sucking red light: Entering a parallel world during a studio visit with Fernanda Chieco
It is Friday afternoon, 5 pm. I am meeting Fernanda Chieco at her studio. She has set up her working space at her apartment, a clean-cut place dominated by simple shapes and a functional, clear design. I came across Fernanda‘s work at her gallery Leme in Sao Paulo, where I saw the piece “The anteater died under the bridge as soon as the wolf ate the giraffe‘s cherry“ (2008) of the series Battle Fields. Looking like a war zone between movement and coming to a rest, the drawing is inhabited by simple-lined naked figures who execute their actions individually, following their own destinations and absorbed in their own world of thought. In the midst of the scene stands a giraffe-headed man who is urinating on a person cowering before him. The other figures are hit by cherries, suffering, apathetic, but all seemingly emotionless.
Intrigued by this scene entirely following its own logic, I contacted Fernanda for a studio visit. While we have coffee in her kitchen, she tells me about her work, her time studying at Goldsmiths College in London and her residencies in Bristol, UK and Ballinskelligs, Ireland.
Fernanda Chieco explains that she is interested in the functionality of things and the limitations reality imposes on us. Finding more freedom in drawing that offers possibilities, which in real life could not be implemented, the figures and constellations in her pieces also create doubts of whether they could really exist. Her compositions are arranged in a manner that remind of the large-sized mural paintings and frescoes in Italian Renaissance churches. The people in her drawings are connected in an elaborated system, which nevertheless does not allow for any direct communication between them. Tongues, which in Fernanda‘s narratives take on the role of the source of life, connect the people by coming out from and entering their mouths and anuses. Fernanda invented an own logic and system of rules for the universe she has created and that obeys her decisions. She has invented a world in which the tongue - as sticky as a flycatcher, lending its name to another series of works of which “Lizard watering the moss“ (2009) forms part - can grow to an infinite length. In a question / answer section on her website, she explains the functioning of the tongue: It is the essential organ for the figures, whereby they can connect to other individuals. Those who do not possess a mouth or other way for the tongue to leave the body, have swollen bellies with rolled up tongue trapped inside of them. When a person dies, the tongue leaves the body and looks for another human‘s or animal‘s tongue to connect to in order to survive.
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