luíza bastos lages
 
ordem em progresso

Luíza is a Brasilian artist artist from Minas Gerais. She moved to the United States a year ago to pursue her master's degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Art, Culture, and Technology program.

Artist's Statement: Ordem em Progresso (Order in Progress) is a work conceived as a sensitive response to the current growth of authoritarian political regimes. Although specifically motivated by the recent election of extreme right-wing Brazilian politician Jair Bolsonaro, the work aims to resonate with other contexts in which there is a growing naturalization of violence against existences that challenge predefined social expectations. The work is comprised by two pieces, expressed through videos and an installation. 

 

Anotações em Exílio [Notes in Exile] (2018) is composed by two videos: Antecipação [Anticipation] and Confirmação [Confirmation]. Antecipação [Anticipation] relates to the tension of the pre-election period, which I experienced vicariously from afar by family and friends, whom shared the rise of threats and violence against marginalized identities; especially of lesbians, facing the debate of the unnegotiable, the discussion around their right to existence. The second video, Confirmação [Confirmation], refers to the desolation of uncertainty through a confirmation. Uncertainty about an attempted erasure; uncertainty if any resistance against this obliteration might be possible. 

 

Medida provisória No 870 de 01 Janeiro de 2019 [Provisional Measure No. 870 of January 1, 2019] (2019) was set in motion by one of the first set of legislative changes made by the new government. Although the unfolding of the decisions is to be experienced as time goes on, they portray how state power is made feasible in that this same state suppresses and shreds. Suppresses and shreds those whose existence, while dominated, are instrumental to the propagation of an oligarchic society - despite its democratic face. The legislative changes made attest to the possibility that authoritarian regimes constitute an expansion of neoliberalism’s exploitation and domestication of bodies: humans and nonhumans.

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The installation of Medida provisória [Provisional Measure] is comprised of 3 sets of sculptural elements:

 

The central sculpture is a handmade quilt, made of Brazilian butcher’s byproducts — including cow, pig, and chicken flesh — salt, cotton thread, and copper wires, the quilt is displayed hanging from a copper tube installed on the ceiling.

 

The additional sculptural elements in dialogue with the quilt are:

 

A pair of institutional/bureaucratic furniture: chair and table displayed over a pile of packages of raw meat, wrapped in butcher’s paper and copper wire.

 

3 different copper sculptures, including: a frame on the wall, a mesh over the table, and screwed up tubes on the floor.

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I am a Brasilian artist, and most of my work operates as a sensitive response to trauma, as an attempt to bring together that which is out of my reach. Oftentimes my works are materialized through sculptural objects and video, often times encompassing my body as a performative element.

 

My present research deals with the rise of authoritarianism and alt-right regimes as a means for reaffirmation and intensification of politics of neoliberalism and capital-imperialism–with a specific focus on recent political events in Brazil. My more recent work has dealt with the domestication and erasure of bodies that challenge narrow definitions of the human; as well as with the intensification of processes of commodification of forms of life, as a form of perpetuation of politics of extraction and capital-imperialism, specially between the US and Brazil. In relation to this theme, an accompanying task for me has been, through art, to pursue other possible ways of conceiving our predicament, trying to escape the epistemes that legitimate the dominant fiction that structures our reality.

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