The exhibition “Orogenesis / Orogenesis” by Juliana Cerqueira Leite, a young Brazilian artist who, for the first time, exhibits her works in a European museum, is scheduled at MANN from 17 July to 23 September.
The culmination of a two-year research, the path is made up of sculptures and photographs: Cerqueira Leite, in her complex creative process, re-imagines the human body through acts of transformation, creating a subtle choreography that emphasizes, through movements and gestures, the strength of the body itself and the reaction of the materials on which it acts.
The starting point of "Orogenesis" are the casts found in Pompeii in the nineteenth century: the casts represent the contraction of bodies exposed to the violence of the eruption and blocked in what is comparable, from a scientific point of view, to the "boxer position" .
Cerqueira Leite finds, in the position of the victims of the tragedy of Pompeii, two symmetries with contemporary culture: first of all, the artist is connected to the “contraction”, a step of the modern dance technique devised by Martha Graham; again, the sculptures and photographic work of “Orogenesis” connect these figurative references to the standard position of the body in weightlessness described by NASA; the pose of an individual in anti-gravity conditions, in fact, appears identical both to that of the casts of Pompeii and to the 'contraction' of modern dance.
The works included in the exhibition analyze the relationship with the past (perceived at the same time as ancient and recent), intertwining different temporal dimensions through the analysis of the contracted position of the body.
Thus, the works suggest the different creative lines that guided the artist: Leite collaborated with Steven Dubowsky, Professor at MIT, to develop, for example, a kinetic sculpture that constantly points in the direction along which the earth is traveling, highlighting , thus, our involuntary and constant motion in space.
Again, the Species-Specific work was born from an interesting artistic experiment: the dancer Meredith Glisson staged a series of 'fight or flight responses', acute stress reactions, while it was being filmed in a motion capture studio, generating a series of data then used for a 3D printed sculpture; to design his Anthropometry sculpture, however, Leite made reference to the anthropometric studies of NASA, demonstrating what an astronaut can grasp, reaching out and remaining firmly tied to the Space Shuttle chair.
The exhibition confirms the interactions between performing art, history and science, including, in the exhibition, a collection of photographs taken from the archives of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, NASA and the Martha Graham Dance Company : the images are useful to outline the creative path followed by Juliana Cerqueira Leite.
The exhibition is curated by Nadim Samman and Michele Iodice. The production of the works on display was made possible by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. The exhibition was created in collaboration with ALMA ZEVI (Venice, Italy) and with the Juliana Cerqueira Leite Exhibition Circle.
The "Orogenesis" exhibition is held under the Matron of the Donnaregina Foundation for contemporary arts.
Thanks to the Archaeological Park of Pompeii for their kind collaboration.