Digging up the varnish
Outside, on the facade, we read in glittering letters: “Le Royal”. It's a work by Laura Andreato, and it's out there to remind us we are entering an area where everything is a travesty: the history of the sodomite and dog-crazy Prussian king and the Disco club waiting for a dark Travolta, the pocket Milky Way, the spread open/silicone twat and the exhibition space itself which, during those weeks, is no longer La Maudite, going instead by the name Le Royal. This is also the title of Rachel Nava and Laura Andreato's exhibition. They are not a duo, but present two different projects that will share this space during the summer holidays of 2014.
Their works, assembled there, evoke elements that communicate between them: the facades, the neon lights, the storefronts, the travel merchandise (also known as souvenirs), as well as the memories we have of all that. Elements that seem guided by a mixture of codes of popular and high culture. This mixture is present in the precarious arrangement of rough materials that, being coated in cheap glitter, consider themselves noble, flaunting the fragile appearance of the temporarily chic things – let the chic be infinite as long as it lasts! It's the glitter of Carnival balls and art classes at school, of the mirror-rich decorations of nightclubs and discos. It's the somewhat cheesy statuettes of the Eiffel Tower, the busts of Napoleon and the plaster knickknacks which, taking advantage of the unsuspecting tourist's consumerist impulse, eventually win a place in a suitcase. The ephemeral glamour of those objects must be what we really want when we approach them and, to this arranged combination of decay and disguise, we seem to say, without resistance: “Fool me, I love it.”
These objects (rubber cocks and twats, trinkets, glitter, nightclubs and street signs), so dear to our internal imagery, are rearranged here at the leisure and to the joy of the artist and the viewer, emphasizing the strongest effect of these works, which is to condense large and distant universes in closed and familiar systems. A condensation of various signs, present there just for a moment to, immediately afterwards, begin their evaporation process. In this procedure, a movement imposes itself. Temporal and lacking spatiality, this movement stems from a past and a history, advancing towards a present of pure appearance.
In this movement, there is, of course, a deviant gesture. But the deviation is mainstream, it is the artifice of a wily work naughtily winking to us. Our interest is elsewhere, in this movement towards the surface, in the manner in which everything is solved in this visual gros plan and in this space where, for a few weeks, we will dig up the varnish in an attempt to get to the gloomy surface of things.
Translation Fr/Eng Julia Vidile
Wagner Morales: Brazilian artist and curator who lives and works between Brazil and France. He was an artist in residence at Le Fresnoy (Tourcoing, France) in 2004, Le Pavillon / Palais de Tokyo, in 2005/2006, and at HIAP / Helsinki International Artist Programme, in 2010. He has frequently shown his work in Brazil and has exhibited worldwide. His recent projects include shows in MAM-Bahia, (Salvador, Brazil), Palais de Tokyo, Centre Pompidou and Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard (Paris, France), Cable Factory (Helsinki, Finlande), Galeria Um Zero Três (São Paulo), Galeria Anita Schwartz (Rio de Janeiro) and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil/CCBB (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo). As a curator, he was in charge of the Video Lounge (28th São Paulo Biennale's video program), Cinema de Corredor (Barco Cultural, São Paulo), Accidents (MNAC / Museun National of Contemporary Art of Bucharest), Film Studies (Benoît Maire films at Blau Projects, Sao Paulo) and many other projects. He is now pursuing his PhD at the Sorbonne University in Paris/France.
Laura Andreato was Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1978.
She graduated in fine arts at the University of São Paulo and, since 2013, is pursuing her Master’s degree in the same institution. It is currently in residence at Cité des Arts, has been selected by the Institut Français and the French Embassy in Brazil, to develop the project Notes on gardens - Paris and surroundings. Among the recent exhibitions she participated in, could be highlighted Deslize in Museu de Arte do Rio (Rio de Janeiro, 2014); Paradiso, in Vitrines do MASP (São Paulo, 2012); Comic Sans, in Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Quito (Quito, Equador, 2012) e Café Vacance, Funarte (São Paulo, 2009)
Raquel Nava (b. 1981, Brazil) lives and works in Brasília. Working with a large range of medias, Raquel's recent works explores how the lifecycle of materials and living species changes in relation to each subject’s interaction, cultural habits and desires. She also created scenery and video scenography for cultural institutions such as Theater SESC Garagem and the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater.
She received a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts (2007) and a Master’s degree in Contemporary Poetics from the University of Brasília (2012). Raquel also studied at the College of Philosophy and Literature at the University of Buenos Aires (2005). Her work is part of the public collection at the Museum of the National Republic, Brasília and at the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels.
Laura Andreato & Raquel Nava
31.07.14 - 20.08.14