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Reality as a form of expression

A series on artists who use manual and traditional methods to create and express themselves

Background

We live in a period where everything seems to happen in the digital world. Creating and showcasing work online, especially on social media, became more and more common leading us into an absence of touching and presence. This new reality privileges the fast and spontaneous content, prioritizing quantity over quality.

This series is the result of the internship of João Martins at Canal180 and it was created as a residency. João invited artists who use manual and traditional methods to create and express themselves. Through a long and deep conversation, he tried to understand the connection that each one has with their work and why they chose to “fly off the digital”. During the dialogue, some projects that the artists have developed were also discussed giving us some internal insight on what was the creative and showcase process.

FERNANDA CORSINI

Fernanda Corsini is a multidisciplinary artist and photographer based in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. She studied Architecture and Urbanism in the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Technische Universität Graz, Austria. Corsini started to photograph in 2015 but It was only around this time that she started to develop her interest in visual arts. She uses both digital and manual methods to create her works.

The moment we create with our hands is magical. It really feels like we've created something. It's almost like a moment of therapy.

- Fernanda Corsini

Her works mix photography, painting, sewing, drawings and text as a way to explore and materialize what Fernanda thinks and feels. It touches on subjects as being a woman, sexuality, how she perceives the world and herself. 

“Creating art is first of all a long process of self-knowledge. I externalize internal dialogues through photographs, collages, drawings, paintings, and with them I place myself in the world. Art grounds me and allows me to be for others. I exist!” — says Fernanda.

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A self-portrait by Fernanda Corsini

Ser é estar

Ser é estar is a project that emerged after Fernanda started to go through old self-portraits. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Corsini wasn’t able to go out and create new work, so she used this archive as starting points for this project. 

Beginning in a digital manner, Corsini created different collages with the materials she found, exploring different versions and ways that she sees and recognizes in herself. 

Later, she evolved the project and brought it to the physical world, printing the original images and, via collage and sewing, she created and explored the different sides or personas of herself.

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Ser é estar by Fernanda Corsini

Melting Cities

Fernanda Corsini studied architecture and urbanism, something the artist would come to regret, being a different experience from what she expected. Melting cities comes as a manifesto towards the architecture course. The base for this project were photographs that Fernanda took of buildings and architecture structures during her course. She later printed those images and, with the usage of a digital scanner, she distorted them and created abstract forms of those buildings, almost as if they were melting.

Melting cities was the final project of Fernanda’s architecture course with which she graduated from.

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Melting Cities by Fernanda Corsini

LUGALBANDA

Lugalbanda is a collaborative project of Claudia Cid and Elsa Gomes who combine ceramics and paintings to create their artworks. They met in 2015 in Lisbon at a master’s degree both were doing in painting. Claudia and Elsa started by sharing the same atelier where each developed their individual art projects. Eventually, the atelier became a place of dialogue where both found they shared the same doubts and interests, leading into the creation of Lugalbanda.

I feel much more compelled to create with my hands on the matter than on the computer. There's something about touching and the physical object that gives me more of a sense of living.

— Lugalbanda

Their works question the relations and boundaries between art and life, between the artistic and the useful object, between the roles of the artist and the artisan, and the concern about the commodification of life, time and art.

“We think that it is very difficult to have a firm definition of what things are: useful or useless, art or crafts. We are interested in this dissolution of concepts, which we think keeps alive the strangeness and beauty of life and its objects.”, say the artists.

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Photo by Marta Cruz

Hors Lits

Hors Lits was a number of performances that happened in four houses across Lisbon as a part of a sensitive approach of rewriting the intimate by opening alternative spaces between artists, inhabitants and spectators.

In a collaboration with JoyFoodExperiences, the performance consisted in a mixture of dishes, created by JoyFoodExperiences, and crafts, created by Lugalbanda, on which the dishes were served. Both wanted to question the audience on “what is that in front of you?”and how would they react upon such a question. Would they just watch? Would they touch the pieces? Would they eat the food?

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Hors Lits by Elisabete Magalhães 

Língua sem prova

Língua sem prova was an exhibition that questioned what can be considered as a useful or aartistic object and how the public perception changes depending on the space where each piece is being displayed.

It combined ceramic pieces with ambiguous purposes and ceramic cracks, turning them into painting frames from a piece that fell and broke. Claudia and Elsa went a step further and also created a painting designed to be dressed.

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Língua sem Prova by LugalBanda

Lugalbanda teamed with Fed by Venus to create Olhos Pescadores an exhibition organized by Tânia Geiroto Marcelino. Olhos pescadores is a piece by Lugalbanda with activation and performance by Fed by Venus. This exhibition debuts on the 8th January at 4pm, in Rua das Gaivotas and it will be open until 27th of January, from Tuesdays to Saturdays (3-7PM).

ROMINA CHULS

Romina Schulz or Romina Chuls (as she presents herself) is a Peruvian artist who combines textiles, ceramics, drawings and paintings as a way to express herself. She studied Fine Arts with a major in painting in the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú where, in the last years of her studies and, influenced by her grandmother’s, she started to use textile as a format to explore the women’s history in her family. Currently, Romina is studying a master's program in Arts Politics at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. 

I try to be a stranger to it (digital).  Is not that I naturally feel like a stranger. I do try to be as a foreigner as I can with the digital world.

— Romina Chuls

Her works focus on problems faced by Peruvian and Latin American women in their daily lives. Problems related to androcentric memory, territorial demarcation, nationalism and Western human rights.

“The detonator for my projects is always autobiographical, always political. Everything comes from an itchy discomfort, from the beauty of externalizing my pain as part of my spiritual practice, from the reappropriation of my flesh.”, says Romina Chuls.

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Sobre cuerpas fronterizas by Romina Chuls

Embriones Huacos

Embriones Huacos is a project that explores a fictional history about the interruption of pregnancy that pre-Hispanic communities from the coast of Peru practiced. This project originated as an archeological practice of imagination where these pieces envision a community defined by rites of abortion. It also confronts the resulting omissions from which colonialism and patriarchy have constructed Peruvian history. At the same time, this questions what was “allowed” to be represented by pre-Hispanic cultures on the coast of Peru.

This project combines graphite sketches of the shapes of Nasca and Mochica huacos with ceramic embryos carved by Romina, and to create a connection between those elements, Chuls added a cross-knit loop made by a Nasca mantle, a textile that houses symbols of fertility.

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Embriones Huacos by Romina Chuls 

Clandestinas

Clandestinas portrays the emotional stage of being pregnant with an unwanted being in an environment like Lima, Peru, where abortion is illegal. This project started as a healing process after Romina’s abortion four years ago. The fear and lack of protection resulted in an emotional burden that Chuls was looking to abort, completing the physical procedure.

Most of the time, the discussion about abortion’s rights in countries where it is illegal is focused on when life starts. Romina changed that approach to the women’s emotional and physical situation, a focus that has been missing from all the debates.

“It is time to direct the discussion to pregnant bodies.”, says Romina. In a context where pregnancy’s interruption is illegal, where you do not own your body, surviving abortion becomes a privilege. This project invites the viewers to submerge themselves in the feeling of carrying an alien embryo while their body keeps changing.

The two materials used in this project confront each other in a moment of tension and overwhelming weight. The knittings, the works in fiber, simulate bodies reappropriating their uterus. The ceramic pieces present themselves as embryos that become stone, aliens to the knittings.

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Clandestinas by Romina Chuls

HOW DISCONNECTION WAS MADE

A project made in residency at Canal180 by João Martins

This article was written by João Martins, edited & backoffice by Nicole Gonçalves

featuring the episodes of

Disconnection also directed by João Martins.

Proofreading and translation of the video

and this article by Eva Magro.

First published on October 13th.

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