CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is pleased to present a new installation by Cinthia Marcelle for her first solo exhibition in California. As one of Brazil’s most significant contemporary artists, Marcelle has exhibited widely internationally, including representing Brazil at the 57th Venice Biennale. In this new commission, Marcelle will convert the galleries into a temporary radio station where the public can participate in live programming in the gallery and on their phones via the online platform aarea, which showcases artworks specifically created for the internet. Throughout the course of the exhibition, a series of programs on the station will activate the installation, ranging from DJ sets and lectures to comedy and news, and will be on air 24 hours a day. aarea will also contribute radio programming from São Paulo, Brazil, specifically for Marcelle’s installation that Bay Area audiences can experience through aarea’s website or in the gallery. In line with her previous work, the installation destabilizes the expectation of creative authorship in favor of collective decision-making, resulting in playful, dramatic, and unexpected interventions.
Marcelle’s exhibition at CCA Wattis is structured around the Brazilian poet and writer Oswald de Andrade’s 1937 play A morta (The Dead Woman). In this forceful text, Andrade investigates the relationship between theater, life, and death, employing theater metaphors to express a fundamental impulse toward change. The play considers the social implications of an artist’s relationship to art and the desire to re-engage art in the conflicts of everyday life. The work reflects Marcelle’s own questions related to her practice in the wake of rising social inequality caused by multiple political and economic crises, both in the artist’s home country of Brazil and across the world.
Similar to the play, Marcelle’s installation is an instrument for its own transformation. Through song selection, participants assume the roles of characters in Andrade’s play, their choices constructing and deconstructing the script. Audio will stream into the gallery space, where viewers will listen in real time to a chorus of sounds and voices, as well as pauses, moments of silence, and brisk interruptions that progressively compose a narrative sequence. Simultaneously involving music and theater, the collective aspect of the work enables abstract conversations that echo the polyphony/cacophony of contemporary social media and messaging apps, while questioning our ongoing pursuit of modernization and the alienation it precipitates. The exhibition is inspired by the collective action of protest movements, while experimenting with the ways intervention and disorder can dismantle patriarchal structures.
Marcelle’s varied oeuvre, which includes installation, performance, drawing, and video, questions notions of social inequality and hierarchy and explores themes of occupation, labor, materiality, and the environment. Her compositions are at once satirical and lighthearted, and her actions create situations that challenge our notions of conventional behavior by introducing humorous coincidences and connections. Commonplace rhythms, patterns, and events are an infinite resource of meaning in her work, and she is inspired by the chaos and turmoil of possibilities which can be found in everyday life.
December 5: Chris E. Vargas hosts “Transcestor Radio Hour”
December 6: Casa Chama and aarea.co host an evening with Animalia
December 12: PJ Gubatina Policarpio hosts a conversation on kinship
December 14: aarea.co activates the exhibition at Ocupação 9 de Julho
December 14: Family Holiday Cookie Jam
January 10: DJ Lynnée Denise presents a soundscape and lecture
January TBC: Radio Yandê programs a full day of Brazilian Indigenous music
About Cinthia Marcelle
Cinthia Marcelle (b. 1974, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Modern Art Oxford (2017); Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago (2017); MoMA PS1 (2016); and Secession, Vienna (2014). She represented Brazil at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), winning a Special Mention. Her work has been included in significant group exhibitions and biennials, including Desert X (2019); Berlin Biennale (2018); Sharjah Biennial (2013 and 2015); Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); Istanbul Biennial (2013); Auckland Triennial (2013); New Museum Triennial (2012); Bienal de São Paulo (2010); Biennale de Lyon (2007); Bienal de Havana (2006); as well as Soft Power, a major group exhibition opening at SFMOMA in October 2019. In 2010, she was awarded the first Future Generation Art Prize.
CCA Wattis Institute
360 Kansas Street
(between 16th & 17th Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94103,USA
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Saturday, noon–6pm.