We posted another four video-interviews with the artists nominated for the ninth edition of the Prize this week. Produced in partnership with Do Rio Filmes, they present Dalton Paula, Gokula Stoffel, Rafael RG and Yuri Firmeza as they talk about their creative processes, their first steps as artists, and the secret to keeping inspired. They are also a fun way to prepare for PIPA Online 2018, which starts next Sunday, July 15th – have you chosen your picks already?
The only Brazilian artist to participate in this edition of the New Museum Triennial, Dalton Paula centres his research on black characters and their protagonism in Brazilian history and culture. One of his main interests is the so-called African diaspora, the forced immigration of people of various locations and ethnicities from the continent to other places of the world during the slave trade. Parting from this heritage, the artist visits Brazilian cities which used to maintain slave ports and interviews its dwellers in order to understand how these experiences affected the local communities. “I’m very interested in these stories, these folk beliefs. I get inspiration from it and create a game to bring racial matters into light in the field of visual arts,” says Paula.
Born in the Brazilian South, but based in São Paulo, Gokula Stoffel confesses becoming an artist was not in her plans: “I decided to take many short courses and suddenly I saw myself being taken over by the art field.” Basing her work on the painting medium, she generally parts from mental images to create her canvases. The place where they’ll be exhibited is also crucial in the artist’s creative process, once her oeuvre tends towards an ‘installative dimension’: “I like to imagine them in the space they’ll be shown. Many of my decisions come from knowing where my work will be exhibited.”
It was a day like any other when Rafael RG, then a High School student in Guarulhos, in the outskirts of São Paulo, discovered his class – and his class only – had been randomly chosen to visit the 24th São Paulo Biennial. The experience was crucial in RG’s learning, and eventually led him to become an artist himself. Intertwining personal experiences and archival research, he creates tects, installations and performatic action which investigate subjects like sexuality, subjectibity and racial identity. “Art is a place for us to create other ways of facing and understanding the world we live in,” he declares.
Responsible for a particularly eclectic production – “I would have to struggle a bit to speak of them in general terms,” he says – Yuri Firmeza splits his time between artistic practice and the academic life. His taste for research is, incidentally, one of the central elements of his work, combined with an interest for ruins and possible relations between the body and the space. “My works are usually heavily linked to a certain desire to research with a little more depth and deliberateness the subjects I intend to investigate and produce,” he states. “Sometimes a piece can take me a year. A year planning an exhibition, or a project for a solo exhibition.”
Watch all the PIPA Prize 2018 video-interviews here.