Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Rússia by Mauro Restiffe. The solo exhibition features a series of black-and-white photographs which portray two distinct moments of the cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg in post-Soviet Russia. The works represent a return to one of his most important investigative projects, carried out in two stages: the first during the 1990s; and the second in 2015, as an opportunity to take up the work again at the invitation of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, in Moscow.
Restiffe associates his continuous research into architecture and urban spaces to his personal affective experience of these major Russian urban centres. The creation process that encompassed this photographic series kindles his lifelong interest in exploring an entirely different culture, conferring an intimist approach tothe time-space relation within his own work. The artist’s gaze leads the spectator to ponder about the recent historical process of the cities as he portrays scenes of everyday life in both grandiose and humble scenarios.
The combination between the photographs taken twenty years ago and those made in the present is formalized into diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs, with some iconic individual figures that mirror reality and its representation, the public and the private, the affective and the mundane. An example is the triptych Winter Trap (1996/2015), which depicts the very same scene in two distinct images, wherein figures ice skating in Bruegel’s painting and real life skaters are placed side by side. Restiffe’s investigation superimposes the documental language over art history and photography references. In these works, the architecture, especially that of Brutalist style, and the people and objects portrayed in their environment are recurrent themes. The use of analogic black-and-white film and the graininess achieved by “pushing the film” are resources that grant Restiffe’s work complete harmony between the physical characteristics of the images and the themes chosen by the artist.
Mauro Restiffe was born in 1970 in São José do Rio Pardo, in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. He lives and works in São Paulo. His recent solo exhibitions include: Post-Soviet Russia 1995/2015, Garage Museum (Moscow, 2016); São Paulo, Fora de Alcance, Instituto Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro, 2014); Obra, MAC-USP (São Paulo, 2013). The artist has participated in the following biennials: Aichi Triennale (Nagoya, Japan, 2016); Cuenca Biennial (Ecuador, 2014); São Paulo Biennial (2006); Panorama de Arte Brasileira (São Paulo, 2013 and 2005);among others.His work can be found in several important collections, such as Bronx Museum of the Arts (New York), Colección Cisneros (Caracas), Inhotim (Brumadinho, Brazil), Instituto Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro), MAC-USP (São Paulo), MAM (São Paulo), Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo), SFMOMA (San Francisco), Tate Modern (London), TBA21 (Vienna), among others.