Friday, May 24, 2024

Jarbas Lopes at A Gentil Carioca

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The exhibition “Lua Versus Luta” (Moon Versus Wrestle) displays Jarbas Lopes’s curiosity within the physique in danger, exposing the fragility of the person in a neoliberal world the place topics are compelled into a relentless state of submission. Lopes not solely takes up precariousness and improvisation as his subject material, he permits the ideas to form the formal contours of his work. For a pair of untitled photographs (all works cited 2023), Lopes smeared vegetable oil on his physique and used it to make prints on paper. The ensuing silhouettes are considerably phantasmagorical, with fungus spreading over the surfaces in a prefiguration of a physique being eaten away. For Salto (Leap), the artist stacked cardboard containers excessive on the street under the gallery. The picture captures him flinging himself from the balcony down onto the pile. The reference to Yves Klein in each these works is unmistakable, however the context is strikingly completely different. Lopes is producing at a time when the left has returned to energy in Brazil, following the far-right authoritarian administration of Jair Bolsonaro. By presenting the physique in oscillation between an affirmation of presence and an acceptance of corporeal fragility, the artist emphasizes the very freedom and bodily autonomy which have been suppressed lately. Not like Klein, Lopes really throws himself onto the containers, confronting threat not as a fantasy however as an act of disobedience. Within the midst of terror, dying, or desperation, life—for higher or worse—makes its presence felt.

Translated from Portuguese by Clifford E. Landers.

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