Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present Os Ajudantes [The Helpers], the new exhibition by Sara Ramo. The artist presents new works – including videos, photographs and sculptures – that bridge the edge between reality and fiction. The works question our standard relationship with the objects that surround us, casting an uncanny eye over everyday life.
In Os Ajudantes, the video that lends its title to the exhibition, 12 masked creatures wander through a dark landscape, playing their musical instruments. Immersed in the shadows, they become visible only in the flickering light of bonfires, appearing and disappearing under a magical and mysterious atmosphere. Sara composes the work with the characters and their surroundings, bereft of any narrative – the creatures don’t seem to be going anywhere, they are just moving around. Music and darkness encircles them and unify the dreamlike world they inhabit.
The action of revealing and concealing creates a link between the abstract and the concrete, and is also repeated in the other works of the show. In the series Matriz e a Perversão da Forma [Matrix and the Perversion of Form], the artist presents sculptures made of dental stone conceived from the masks in Os Ajudantes. They are their molds, thus revealing their back sides. Each piece bears the power of a concrete and meaningful shape, but which can only happen in our imagination. As in the video, the whole is never offered to us and all we see are fragments.
Darkness is also explored in the artist’s new series of photographs, in which ordinary objects are photographed in extreme darkness, dimly lit only at certain spots. As what happens with the characters in the video, the figures blend with the background, making the outlines of their shapes hazy and nearly abstract. The photos investigate how the eye adapts when familiar shapes are placed into different lighting conditions, in a study on infantile darkness. Once the shapes are illuminated, their negatives are revealed.
Sara Ramo was born in 1975 in Madrid, Spain, and currently lives and works between the city of her birth and Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Her solo shows have most notably included Desvelo y Traza, at Matadero (Madrid, 2014) and Centre d’Art la Panera (Lleida, 2014); Punto Ciego, at Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo (Montevideo, 2014); Sin Heroismos, por favor, at CA2M (Madrid, 2012); Penumbra, at Fundação Eva Klabin (Rio de Janeiro, 2012). Group shows she has participated in include: Imagine Brazil, Astrup Fearnley Museet (Oslo, 2013), Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (Lyon, 2014) and Instituto Tomie Ohtake (São Paulo, 2015); Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); Mercosul Biennial (Porto Alegre, 2013 and 2007); Panorama da Arte Brasileira (São Paulo, 2011 and 2003); 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010); 53th Venice Biennale (2009). Her work figures in various important collections, including those of Inhotim (Brumadinho), MAM (Rio de Janeiro), Instituto Cultural Itaú (São Paulo), Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo), and Fundacione Casa di Risparmio di Modena (Italy).