Rivane Neuenschwander


Belo Horizonte, 1967; lives in London, United Kingdom

When every minute passes, the clock turns to zero; on the next hour, a new zero. Um dia como outro qualquer [A Day Just Like Any Other] consists of a set of clocks installed in exhibition spaces or not, marking only zero hour and zero minute. From the repertoire of themes with which Rivane Neuenschwander works, stands out the use of environment, situations, and objects of everyday life, folk culture manifestations, verbal and non-verbal languages, collections of events, moods, and affective memories. From such an extensive, varied artistic vocabulary, erasure is a recurring operation. However, erasing for the artist has nothing to do with negation or shutdown, but with creating spaces, silences, and possibilities of restarting. The works contemplated in this exhibition call viewers to incorporate their narratives or to look at themselves from a different point of view.

The series A uma certa distância (Pinturas de ex-votos) [From a Certain Distance (Paintings of Ex-Votos), 2010] departs from the religious tradition of thanking for a grace attained through votive paintings. In the reconstitution made by Neuenschwander, the figurative elements are extracted, there remaining architectonic elements of color and perspective. A similar gesture takes place in Zé Carioca nº 2, A volta dos três cavaleiros (1944) (Ed. Histórica, Ed. Abril) [Joe Carioca #2, The Return of the Three Horsemen (1944) (Historical Edition, Ed. Abril, 2004)], a work presented at the Belo Horizonte version of this exhibition. The image and discourse content from a comic book is suppressed, and from the original there remains the designs of colorful backgrounds and dialogue bubbles. Pieces of chalk are offered to the viewers so that they can create any story they wish. Joe Carioca is a character created by Walt Disney (1901–1966) in the 1940s, during World War II, when the Unites States was trying to attract allies in Latin America. By embodying the stereotype of the Brazilian rascal, the character likes to party, is idle and often escapes his problems through tricks. On Neuenschwander’s works, political, social, and cultural determinism are suspended.

Julia Rebouças