Studios: Paulo Nazareth | Santa Luzia

13 - 29 May 2021
  • ‘Most performances present themselves as work disguised as play; what Nazareth’s does, ingeniously, is present performance as play disguised as...

    ‘Most performances present themselves as work disguised as play; what Nazareth’s does, ingeniously, is present performance as play disguised as work.’

     

    - Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Frieze magazine, 2015

  • For Studios, Paulo Nazareth presents the biggest fear of the museum is to lose the object, drawings and sculptures that continue his analysis of the impact of imperialism within contemporary social structures.

     

    The illustrated masks reference ritual masks from across Africa and the Afro-Caribbean, which now form part of European ethnographic museum collections.

     

    Nazareth states, ‘The irony is that the museum thinks they have significant historical objects but the significance of the mask is in the ritual. When I draw the masks from the museum collection, the “artefact” is no longer authentic, it is no longer a precious object – through my reproductions I am redirecting the act of appropriation.’

     

    Concurrently, Nazareth uses masks symbolically to highlight practices of concealment, performance and profiling. Thinking specifically of masquerade, assumption, and the ways phenomena such as ‘double consciousness’ are made manifest through daily performative actions, he states, ‘As a black person, when you wear a mask your identity changes, same as when you wear a balaclava, or a ritual mask.’

  • Untitled [WORKER], 2020 Untitled [WORKER], 2020
  • Paulo Nazareth was born in Borun Nak, Minas Gerais, Brazil and lives and works throughout the world. He is included...

    Paulo Nazareth was born in Borun Nak, Minas Gerais, Brazil and lives and works throughout the world. He is included in Though it's dark, still I sing, the upcoming Bienal de São Paulo, and featured in the most recent Sydney Biennale, NIRIN (2020).

     

    A survey of Nazareth’s work is scheduled to take place at Pivô, São Paulo, in 2022. In 2019, the ICA Miami presented Melee, a large-scale exhibition by the artist. The show, described as timely and robust, is marked by a new catalogue published by the University of Chicago Press. Solo exhibitions have also taken place at institutions including Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, (2018); the Institute for Contemporary Arts, London (2014); and the Museum of Art São Paulo (2013).

     

    PHAMBI KWENDLOVU, his first exhibition with Stevenson, took place in 2019 in Cape Town. His second will open in Johannesburg in November 2021.

     

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    Photography: Daniel Pinho