O mágico nu (The Naked Magician), 2008/10
Laura lima, an artist that was recommended to me within my tutorial, is a very peculiar artist from Brazil, her works border on installations with a surreal twist, but have major performative aspects embedded within them. Her works focus on the complexities of human behaviour, and the deep social relations that we, as humans, inherently share between us. Interestingly, she herself never appears within her works, but delegates a specific person/(s) to play the titular roles within them, often taking on a guise to become a symbol, rather than a person performing within a space.
‘The naked Magician’, shown above, is one of these performances delegated by a specific character. A space filled with shelves of varying amounts of materials, some leaning precariously over the ‘magician’ and appearing to defy gravity through their positions. From this labyrinth of supplies, the magician takes what he needs and compiles them into a plethora of ‘magical experiments’, often muttering to himself and seeming maddened and frustrated by his work. This is a very interesting piece, as it puts the viewer into the position of an assessor, watching this amalgamation of ideas and actions into a single creative process; order and chaos are tapped into subconsciously, as we view a process of which we do not know the outcome. It harkens back to my alchemy project, in which I went through the creation of a ‘Magnum Opus’, which the audience did not see personally, but through a video recording. The space in which I created the piece, however, was left in the debilitated manner that it was during the creation; the chaos and order seamlessly intertwining, as the entropy of the space still buzzed with the charge of creation.
I’m really interested in the works created by this artist, it’s truly fascinating to see this aspect of creation viewed by another, as it is so often a personal journey. The performance aspect really interests me, as I am interested in putting my crates within a space in the city, in order to glean a more suitable contextual standing for the objects themselves; the potential for them to be interacted with in the space also contributes to this idea greatly.
‘Gala Chicken and Gala Coop’, 2004-2011
An interesting take on the concept of ‘society’, this piece is a custom made, angular chicken coop filled with a group of unusually adorned chickens; much like hair extensions, the 40 chickens within the coop have brightly coloured feathers intertwined with their own. Costumed chickens; at first the idea seems preposterous, but then you notice the purpose of the costumes; the chickens themselves are actors, symbols for those who reside within the confines of society. They take inspiration from the carnivale, and the way that it reverses the roles of those participating purely through the use of a costume, of a mask. This is very interesting to me, as is the strange, geometric shape of the cage. It’s angles constrict the space around it, drawing within itself, and is a rather harsh and painful object, in appearance at the very least.
The most interesting part of the entire piece however, is the changes in the animals witnessed by the artist; some that began as timid creatures have become exuberant, they gladly embrace the change brought upon by the ‘carnival’, so to speak, whereas some have seemingly switched genders. What curiosities these are, and what wonders are held within this seemingly inconspicuous chicken coop. It seems like it is living proof that anything could happen, and that blows me away.