Como colocar ar nas palavras (How to put air in the words) is the title of the first solo exhibition by the Brazilian artist Rebeca Carapiá at Galeria Leme in São Paulo, Brazil. Opening the artist’s Collection of Notebooks, the exhibition curated by Diane Lima, presents the work of writing-drawing by Carapiá, which is formalized in copper on canvas and iron sculptures both in medium and large scale.
With almost thirty canvas selected along with eight new sculptures from the series Words of iron and air, the show articulates the ways in which the artist’s research has been creating a cosmology around the conflicts of the norms of language and body. Also, how her practice are creating strategies of escape in view of the processes of capture, fetishization and ultra-visibility of identity policies explored by techno- normative racial capital.
To avoid this representative function when what is at stake are the overlapping between artistic and resistance practices produced by racialized, vulnerable and dissident bodies such as the artist’s, Carapiá refuses colonial categories and uses abstraction in order to create a writing that escapes the theme-figure norm. From the historical point of view, primordial issues that mark contemporary art in the country, making the artist a prominent voice of her generation.
Another fundamental point behind the title How to put air in the words, is the artist’s quest to perform the deconstruction of the feminine geographies, a reflection that is present in the performance of the writing itself and also in its materiality: it is in the encounter between the cotton canvases prepared for painting, the nobility of copper and the hardness of iron, which we entered in her investigation of the conflict, the dissident body and the territory. The relationship with such raw materials characterizes the workers’ region of Uruguay, in Cidade Baixa, in Salvador, where Carapiá was born and raised. In this way, the exhibition debates the contradictions of our time as it is the sophistication of the artworks and its presence in the institutional space, that leads us to reflect about the precariousness and vulnerability present in the outskirts of the country.
In this reframing process, How to put air in the words ends up still confronting the hegemonic discourses of art history, expanding our way of reading through the ancestral repertoire present in the artist’s trajectory and that emanates as a secret and mystery from the process of making the works to their final composition. Opening the word, breaking, folding, making and remaking its lines, Rebeca Carapiá marks our time by writing other ways of saying about the difference without explaining it.
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