Opening – 07.11.2017, 19:00h @ Galeria Leme
SITU #7 | ANA DIAS BATISTA
curated by Bruno de Almeida
Opening: November 7, 2017, from 19h to 22h
Exhibition: November 8, 2017 – January 20, 2018
Galeria Leme presents the 7th edition of the project SITU, part of the official program of the 11th São Paulo Architecture Biennial, continuing a research on the dialogue between art, architecture and city as a tool for the analysis and problematization of urban dynamics. For this edition the Brazilian artist Ana Dias Batista creates a site-specific work that underlines the tensions and contradictions of the relationship between the gallery’s building and the city. She intervenes directly on the border between public and private space, namely in the main facades of the building and in the courtyard between them.
Over the set of pichações (distinctive street writing found in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), drawings and writings that have been accumulated over time in the gallery’s blind facades, the artist adds another painting that is commonly found around town. The language is graffiti and the motif is that of a wall of stones. A type of drawing that is usually commissioned by people wishing to curb unwanted paintings on the walls of their properties. Unlike the pichação, such graffiti is legally permitted and socially accepted. Thus, one type of language is strategically used to avoid a congener, playing with a code of conduct that exists between those who paint (legally or illegally) the walls of the city. The wall commissioned by Ana Dias Batista, despite its formal similarities with others, seems to operate according to another logic. It is late in avoiding any kind of illicit writing and seems to coexist on an equal basis with them. When it is interrupted by the gallery’s courtyard this two-dimensional wall is transformed and broken up in numerous concrete road obstacles that are distributed over the floor of the patio, which despite being open to the city is usually used as private parking. But such obstacles also do not seem to fulfill their original function of ordering and limiting automobile traffic. Their quantity is excessive, their positioning is illogical and redundant and they do not impede the circulation of vehicles in that area.
By disturbing the normality of elements whose function is to govern citizens’ actions in relation to their city, Ana Dias Batista highlights the palliative and contradictory nature of such strategies. By shuffling which territories should be protected and which individuals should be restrained, the artist goes against a determinism which is characteristic of the current policies of socio-spatial cleansing. Which are consummated through direct action in the city either by its supposed embellishment or by the obliteration of spaces and discourses that escape the official norm. Align with this way of understanding urban space, the stone wall graffiti, widespread by popular taste, seems to gain even more meaning, since such wall is the archetypal element of territorial separation, the basis for defining the boundary between public and private, between one and another, between what can be seen and what is intended to be concealed, thus being the cause and consequence of a “walled” society.
About the artist:
Ana Dias Batista, 1978, Brazil. Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Graduate, master and doctor of Visual Arts from ECA-USP, São Paulo, Brazil. Presented individual exhibitions at: Centro Cultural São Paulo, Brazil (2001), Centro Universitário Maria Antônia, São Paulo, Brazil (2004), Art Museum of Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2007), Estação Pinacoteca, São Paulo, Brazil (2009), Ateliê 397, São Paulo, Brazil (2015). And at the galleries: Adriana Penteado, Mendes Wood, Ybakatu and Marilia Razuk. Has received the grant “Bolsa Pampulha” and the prizes Conexão Artes Visuais (Funarte, 2008) and PROAc (Secretariat of Culture of the State of São Paulo, 2009 and 2015). Has recently integrated collective exhibitions such as: Paulista Avenue (MASP, São Paulo, Brazil), In Memoriam (Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Temporary Contemporary (Bass Museum, Miami, USA), Tout doit disparaître (La Maudite, Paris, France), Imagine Brazil – Artists’ Books (DHC/ART Fondation pour l’Art Contemporaine, Montréal, Canadá), Huna, Hunak / Here, There (Al Riwaq Exhibition Space, Doha, Qatar) and Alimentário (Oca, São Paulo and MAM, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
About the curator:
Bruno de Almeida, 1987, Brazil. Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Graduated in Architecture by the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, Portugal (2009). Master in Architecture by the Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland (2013). He has developed projects with institutions such as: Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, USA; New Museum – IdeasCity Arles, New York, USA; Independent Curators International, New York, USA; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, USA; Pivô Art and Research, São Paulo, Brazil, among others. His research and projects were published in: ARTFORUM International Magazine, USA; ATLÁNTICA Journal of Art and Thought, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Spain; TELLING #2, T+U Architectural Publications, Portugal; Revista aU – Arquitetura & Urbanismo, São Paulo, Brazil, among others.