Brazilian-born digital artist who lives in Berlin, Germany. Their research is developed by narratives that work the relationship of dependence between fictional existences and digital environments, signifying the representations of color, identity and time.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR ROUTE TO YOUR CURRENT ARTISTIC PRACTICE?
I grew up in Nilópolis, a small town in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, very close to the capital. My childhood was affected by inaccessibility, visiting museums and galleries was only possible on school trips. My surroundings were also marked by violence and the war on drug trafficking. I sought at every moment to create escape routes from my reality. And that is how the need to develop new worlds came up. Since I got my first computer, a used PC donated by my aunt, I started editing videos and photos, but becoming an artist wasn’t an obvious option in my reality. My dreams were limited to professions with common career plans, which would help me overcome statistics and ensure survival. I chose to study “Social Communication” in college and after a few periods, working and studying to pay, I found myself stuck in the reproduction of everyday life. I couldn’t migrate to other work environments because I kept getting rejected in the interviews. During this time, I enrolled in a school of “Urban Interventions”, a place where I understood that I could experiment with my techniques in video editing and illustration, which made me feel entitled to be an artist. From that, I got a scholarship to an elite art school to study Video Art and Video Installation, but all the course cutouts and references were of white artists, who had little to do with my narrative. I suffered a violent police approach in my first exhibition in this institution, and little by little I saw myself less and less belonging. In the search to detach the image of myself from my artistic production, I decided to create my own system, under my expectations, dismembering my body from my mind. I started to create 3D animations with digital sculptures, where I propose scenes based on organic and dependent relationships between beings and environments. Growing up in Rio de Janeiro as a black person who doesn’t respond to gender conformities, encourages me to imagine digital and physical realities of free movement. I increasingly correlate my desire to externalize figures to the fact that I’m not exactly aware of what my cultural heritage is. In my genealogical tree I could only access my grandparents. This is because when Brazil was colonized most of the indigenous tribes were decimated, and their knowledge, often only transmitted by speech, was erased. With slavery, African immigrants from different tribes were mixed and their heritages were lost along with their freedoms. The inequalities inherited from this history weren’t fought, reflecting until today, 500 years later, in my existence. In which I’m incapable of creating a relationship of belonging because of my forced mestizaje. This restlessness leads me to create faces, forms, situations that perhaps carry these erased memories. But in bodies that are not hierarchized by race, class, identity or gender relations. An archaeological and unconscious study of a time that is slipping away from me.
Q: CAN YOU IDENTIFY ANY ELEMENTS OF YOUR COMMUNITY OR COLLABORATORS THAT HAVE HAD A STRONG INFLUENCE?
I believe that these influences of people on my research can be divided into two moments. The first is determined by the beginning of my artistic life in Brazil, where my youth was affected. I saw myself surrounded by young people from backgrounds similar to mine, who were breaking down doors every day to create opportunities in the creative industry. All part of the first generation of black and trans people to enter university or exercise leadership positions. The second, defined by my time in Europe, where I keep moving with some of the people who came with me and meet new ones who also went through the immigration process during the pandemic. The creativity when externalized depends on the technique, which in turn uses the tool, defined by the technology. Developing countries are categorized by industries that are in transition, that dominate little technology. Creatives in global peripheries are marked by the marginalisation and scrapping of their own work, making it impossible to acknowledge and develop their research and talents. With the internet, and the instantaneous access to information, these individuals, even though limited by the current system, unbalance the bubbles designed by the global hegemony and subvert such narratives, questioning the absolute truths of these circumstances. And it is in this movement that the influence on my artistic work continues to build.
Q: HOW IS YOUR PROJECT TIED TO THE CIRCA X DAZED CLASS OF 20:21 THEME OF ‘COMMUNION’?
The piece I’m applying for “Class of 2021” is entitled “What Makes Us Beings?”, a gathering of the sculptures I built during the first semester of this year. It presents sequences of 3D objects integrated or highlighted in different compositions sculpted and painted with the mouse. Creatures with humanoid traits share the space with statues that resemble plants, rocks and insects. All objects are projected with the same animation technique, seeking to create a virtual ecosystem that develops together. It exudes a certain anthropology of communities in harmony, which responds to the theme of this edition, as it finds in the intention of transmitting life, the tone of uncertainty of its organic presences existing digitally, making a common question throughout all the narratives registered in the work. The sculptures, like individuals, are the environments and also the performances of life, they deform and form structures that, as a whole, continue to generate images and other representations.
Q: HOW WOULD THE CIRCA PRIZE OF £30,000 IMPACT YOUR FUTURE PRACTICE?
The CIRCA PRIZE would assist me in acquiring knowledge and tools to pursue my practice under less influence of the impact of my social clipping on the immigration process. Besides that, it would make it possible to afford the technologies necessary to develop my research in central spaces with greater quality. Today, I have difficulties in creating, designing installations and developing the expography of my pieces in 3D due to my low access to high performance computers, 3d printers, screens, VR equipment, sounds and projectors. I don’t receive sponsorship from tech companies, which makes me develop all my work on a notebook, which is already unthinkable. Being one of the only black queer people in digital art, and still lagging behind in technology, says a lot about the world we live in, and I believe this award would forge the path to dig this change in my career.
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