Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel is pleased to present Lisbon Office’s second exhibition, which sets a dialogue between the photographs by duo Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca and the ceramic sculptures by British artist Jesse Wine. Although under distinct approaches, these new works have the body as a theme. On one side, Wagner & de Burca are focused on the ‘popular body’ and its strategies of subversion and visibility. On the other, Wine presents a body which is fragmented into physical states; accentuated limbs, truncated torsos, and, into mental states, presenting ideas of the unconscious.
Wagner & de Burca’s photographs are part of the Swinguerra series (2019), created for the Brazilian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. The work was developed in close collaboration with dance groups from the outskirts of Recife, Northeast of Brazil, and follows their intense routine of rehearsals performing rhythms such as brega funk, batidão do maloka and swingueira – referenced in the work’s title, but with a slight spelling twist that makes the word end in “guerra”, which means “war” in Portuguese. Although apart from the mainstream, these dance styles are a popular phenomena in their communities and their origins date back to the country’s cultural traditions. Amidst the current tensions concerning the political rights of minorities – mainly black people, women, and transgenders, like many of the characters portrayed –, dance becomes a platform for issues such as social integration and self-representation. Once in front of the camera, the dancers play the role of themselves, thus revealing the knowledge carried in their bodies.
Jesse Wine’s latest ceramic sculptures take sleep as an ultimate state of vulnerability. In two pieces on view a head rests atop a surreal architectural structure as if it was dreaming. Wine leaves its back exposed like a mask, so the hollowed space is made into a place of its own: in one instance, to store loose change (How can something so old, be so wrong?, 2019), just as the base of a building accommodates miniatures from a dollhouse (You have a new memory II, 2019). Wine reflects on the various ways consumerism and societal pressure govern all aspects of everyday life, and how sleep is an escape from these encroachments. The seeming vulnerability of the sleeper is imbued with what the artist calls “somnolent agency”, which often affects the actions of those awake. And, although the works We all are, act accordingly (2018) and Spirito di Pino (2019) are presented headless, these sculptures posture dramatically. Both works communicate an awareness, a raised pinky finger or arched foot, that plays to the notion of being seen and behaving accordingly. Wine’s surfaces are finished with paint, sand, iron powder and found objects, deploying color and texture as an entry point into this world.
About the artists
Bárbara Wagner (Brasília, 1980) and Benjamin de Burca (Munich, 1975) live in Recife, where they’ve been working as a duo since 2011. Besides Swinguerra, the official representation of Brazil at the 58th Venice Biennale, the duo is currently showing their work at Pérez Art Museum (Miami) and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). Among their most recent solo exhibitions are: Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel (São Paulo, 2018), Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus), AGYU (Toronto, 2018), MOCAD (Detroit, 2017). Among group shows, stand-out their participations on: FRONT International (Cleveland, 2018); Corpo a Corpo, IMS (São Paulo, 2017, and Rio de Janeiro, 2018); Berlinale Shorts (Berlin, 2017, 2018 and 2019, when they were awarded the jury’s special prize); Panorama de Arte Brasileira (São Paulo, 2017 and 2013); Prêmio PIPA, MAM (Rio de Janeiro, 2017), occasion when they’ve been proclaimed prize winners; Skulptur Projekte (Münster, 2017); Bienal de São Paulo (2016); Histórias da Infância, MASP (São Paulo, 2017); 36. EVA International (Limerick, 2014); Biennale Arts Actuels (Réunion, 2013); Their works are part of collections such as the ones from: MASP (São Paulo), Pinacoteca de São Paulo (São Paulo), Instituto Moreira Salles (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro), Kadist Art Foundation (Paris), Museum Het Domein (Sittard, Netherlands), PAMM (Miami), CIFO (Miami), among others.
Jesse Wine (Chester, England, 1983) lives and works in New York. His recent solo shows include Prosper, Phantom Limb, Simone Subal Gallery (New York, 2017); Young man red, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (Hague, 2016); Working title, not sure yet, Mary Mary (Glasgow, 2016); BIG PICTURES, Limoncello Gallery (London, 2015). Among group shows, highlights are: Hot Pot. Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials, GAK (Bremen, 2018); Opening Night, Carpintaria (Rio de Janeiro, 2017); Regarding George Ohr: Contemporary Ceramics in the Spirit of the Potter, Boca Raton Museum of Art (Florida, 2017); Powerhouse Commission, Battersea Power Station, CASS Sculpture Foundation (London, 2017); That Continuous Thing: Artists and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, TATE St Ives (Cornwall, 2017); Jesse Wine | Peter Voulkos, Parrasch Heijnen (Los Angeles, 2017); Sludgy Portrait of Himself, Museum of Cambridge (Cambridge, 2017); Looking North, Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool, 2017); Paul Heyer, Jeanette Mundt, Jesse Wine, Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York, 2016); Luster – Clay in Sculpture Today, Fundament Foundation (Tilburg, 2016).
About Lisbon Office
Celebrating its first anniversary, Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel’s Lisbon Office is located in a charming pombaline building in the heart of Chiado, at the same address where the General Consulate of Brazil in Portugal has once operated. The place broadens the gallery’s worldwide operation – which has been promoting Brazilian art’s vigor and quality around the world since 2011 – and indicates a closer relationship among European artists, curators, collectors and colleagues. Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel is based in Brazil and maintains exhibition spaces in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
In parallel to the show Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca / Jesse Wine, a special selection of works by the represented artists will also be on view at Lisbon Office. Highlights include: Ernesto Neto, theme of a major retrospective exhibition currently on display at Pinacoteca de São Paulo; Erika Verzutti, who has held a great solo show this year at Centre Pompidou in Paris; Leda Catunda, highlight at the latest Bienal de São Paulo; iconic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe; and recent works by Portuguese artists Julião Sarmento and João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva.