LENORA DE BARROS & LAURA LONA
Lenora de Barros was born in São Paulo, where she currently lives and works, in 1953.
Graduated in Linguistics from Universidade de São Paulo/ USP and started her artistic career in 1970s, a time of intense experimentalism in Brazilian art, marked by a strong constructive and avant-gardist bent since the 50s. Those were politically hard years (the country was under military dictatorship) but that were also suffused with radicalization of esthetic and existential experimentations. The first works created by Lenora de Barros can be placed in the field of “visual poetry”, a trend that found its development in Brazil, springing from the concrete poetry movement f the decade of 1950. Words and images were her initial material.
In 1983, LB published the book Onde Se Vê (Where One See), a set of rather uncommon “poems”. Some of them dispensed with the use of words, constructed as a photographic sequences where the artist herself acted put different characters in performance acts. This book already announces Lenora de Barro’s transit into de field of visual arts, what eventually came to happen. Since then, The artist has been following her own personal path, marked by the use of diversified languages: video, graphic, design, performance, photography, installation and construction of objects. With a certain Duchampian flair, often employing irony and references to the feminine universe, Lenora de Barros incorporated a series of generational procedures akin to pop, conceptual, and body-art.
Her debut experience with video art dates back to 1985 and was inaugurated by a video-performance titled Homenagem a George Segal (Homage to George Segal), created in collaboration with video maker Walter Silveira. A “narrative” sequence shows the artist frantically brushing her teeth, the foam gradually growing into a “sculptural” image of pathetic and unusual character. This performance was photographically created by Lenora de Barros for the first time in 1975 and served as a starting point for the video. Photos and video performances constitute today the most noteworthy streak in Lenora de Barro’s work. Always acting as a “character”. As the agent of an action, LB has bee carrying out various projects along this line.
“I’ve always been interested in the contact between languages, in generating meanings through the confrontation of different languages, particularly the verbal and visual ones and the acoustic aspect of the words. I experience great pleasure in creating relations between the codes by means of juxtaposition and contamination of one plane into the other –working at the limits, at the borderlines…There is no fixed rule in my creative process determining language priorities or hierarchies. At times, it’s a word, a sentence, a “line” that bursts forth and from that verbal form I establish the visual and oral expression that I will ascribe to this “content”. At others, the process is reversed: visual language imposes itself and the text is conceived after it. Sometimes I create “pure” texts or just photographic images, visual sequences (video) or just objects, object-poem and/or installations, where the various language forms blend into a dialogue (or in a “trilogue”), so as to produce various meanings.” (Lenora de Barros in interview to Karina Granieri, Centro de Estudos Brasileńos (Brazilian Studies Foundation Center), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2003).
Among the recent exhibitions and activities stands out in ULTRAPASSADO, at Broadway 1602, PREGAÇÃO, in tandem with the exhibition with Tunga, curated by Daniel Rangel – Artistic Director of ICCO (Brazil). Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, SOME AND OTHERS (solo), curated by Glória Ferreira, at Pivô, São Paulo –SP, Brazil, 3rd edition of the Triennial: El Panal/The Hive) 2012, under the curatorship of Deborah Cullen Sergio Bessa (Brazil), SONOPLASTIA (solo), a sound installation at Millan Gallery, São Paulo-SP, Brazil, November-December 2011, the 11th Biennale de Lyon –Une terrible beauté est née, 2011, curated by Victoria Noorthoorn, where she participated with three works, including the project of the audio-visual installation “Le rencontre Echo et Narcisse”, and MERIDIANOS, (a dialogues about art program organized by Casa Daros Latinoamerica, in partnership with OI Futuro, Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro-RJ, which resulted in the production of a film performance in partnership with the Mexican artist Teresa Serrano.
Images Courtesy of the Artist, Broadway 1602 and Galeria Millan © 2014. All rights reserved.
ONDE SE VÊ (WHERE ONE SEE), Editora Klaxon, 1980.
RELIVRO, based on the exhibition REVÍDEO in the cultural center of Oi Futuro in 2010, Rio de Janeiro-RJ where she gathers much of her work from 1975 to 2010. The book is bilingual, English and Portuguese, and includes texts by Augusto de Campos, Tadeu Chiarelli and Alberto Saraiva.
CONTEMPORARY ART BRAZIL (2012), published by Thames & Hudson.
COISA EM SI (THING IN ITSELF), interview given to Eduardo Xavier de Souza and published in book form by the Publisher Zouk, Porto Alegre, 2011 (bilingual, English/Portuguese).
Laura Lona (1976), is an independent actor and artist, born in Caracas, Venezuela. She studied anthropology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas, and is a 2010 Alumna of the American Academy of Dramatics Arts (AADA) in New York. Her theatrical practice approaches elements of performance art, ritualism, installation, sound and video. She creates interdisciplinary work that explores the visceral and metaphysical aspects of the body in relation to language, sound and movement. Lona is the founder and artistic director of Mandragoras Art Space, an organization dedicated to the research and experimentation of new approaches in performance, where she performed Devenir, a piece based on Antonin Artaud’s “To Have Done with the Judgment of God”.
Image Courtesy of the Artist © 2014. All rights reserved.