The artist Laura Lima presents her third solo show with Galeria Luisa Strina bringing a group of new works with transforming materials that impact the exhibition environment in a multisensory manner and evoke photographic imagery. The exhibition “qual” features an art-text by Daniela Castro / Deleuze Was Wrong, in which the substances present in the exhibition embark on a dialogue in the form of an audio poem.
All works are suspended. The choice for this method of presentation is explained both by the transparency and delicacy of the pieces, as well as by the artist’s questioning attitude towards everything that is understood as “tradition” in art history. The Ágrafo group of works, for example, started in 2015, is almost entirely shown in the same way; in this case, because they are three-dimensional pieces, the suspension has to do with the possibility of observation from different angles, but also with the attitude against the tradition of accommodating sculptures on the floor.
From the point of view of the experiences of suspended materiality in Laura Lima’s trajectory, one can think of Costumes, Portraits and, most radical of all, the Literal Ballet, which the artist presented this year at the crossroads of A Gentil Carioca, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, a kind of puff opera performed by objects that moved from one building to another on a suspended wire, some faster, some slower, configuring the choreography orchestrated by the artist.
The works of “qual” are made of tulle and dry ice, one fragile and immaculate matter, another one unstable and mutant. Here, a dialogue is established between the new works and the Wrong Drawings (made of cotton and charcoal), for the imminent risk of contamination, one element threatening the other. From the perspective of changing materiality, it is important to remember the instaurations of MAN = MEAT / WOMAN = MEAT, in which Laura considers living beings as sculptural matter.
To end this quick genealogy of related works, in order to contextualize “qual”, one has to speak of the ghostly materiality of these pieces, derived from the artist’s thoughts about drawing, ‘blurred’ here by the steaming effect of dry ice. In this respect, they relate to the universe of Fumoir (2009/2017), which subverts the museological rules and allows us to contemplate the other works wrapped in cigar smoke, as well as to the photo-works Lugares Colagens, where smoky or unfocused elements inhabit art nouveau environments to which they deliberately do not belong.
Suspended materiality, changing materiality, and ghostly materiality intersect in “qual,” plus an environment of dim lighting, evanescent like the drawings, enveloping them in mystery. Seen from afar, the works are difficult to distinguish clearly, as smoke and low light cloud the view. When you get close to them, the texture of the tulle and the complexity of the details blur the view once again.
The works are not titled individually, as they all make up the Levianes series, like this, without a defined genre. Some are “levianos”, others “levianas”, and there are also “levianes”; that is, they each have their own particular characteristics and their specific particularities, but from a gender standpoint they belong to a time of permanent transitivity, which is the today, the here and now.