"da série Vistaña", [detail], 2016, sculture, glass and taxidermized bird, 100 x 40 cm

“Closer to PIPA: the artist speaks in the Institute collection” featuring Ana Paula Oliveira

Ana Paula Oliveira is the sixth guest of  “Closer to PIPA: the artist speaks in the Institute collection”. Every fifteen days we select an art piece that was acquired by the Institute and ask the artist to talk a little bit about the work: be it the creative process; the ideia behind the piece; how it connects with the artist’s production; or any other aspect the person would like to share. The goal is to bring the audience closer to the artist’s universe and to the “Displacement” collection by PIPA Institute, which was established in 2010 to support, help document and promote the development of Brazilian contemporary art, and which has the Prize as one of its initiatives. This time, we chose the works “da série Vistaña” and “Porninho”.

The artist’s trajectory is guided by the creation of installations that are born from the tension between attraction and  disgust, and between stability and imbalance. The visual result of her work triggers a mix of strangeness and interest, which always attracts looks and approaches. In 2010, Ana Paula was the first winner of PIPA Online. In 2017, she offered to the Institute’s collection the book-object “Vouindo”, result of the Prêmio Editar Proac 2016, with which she was awarded.  For many years, the Institute talked to Ana Paula about acquiring other artworks, which happened in 2020, with the works “da série Vistaña” (2016), “indo adentro” (2010), “Porninho” (2013) and “da série Vistaña” (2013).

“Vouindo”, 2016, artist’s book/sculpture, acrylic, leather and lead, 22 x 28 x 3 cm

Check out bellow the text the artist wrote specially for Closer to PIPA. In it, she shares reflections about her creative processes, her references and inspirations, and about the strangeness that is part of her artworks. Ana Paula talked about the 4 works acquired by the PIPA Institute, highlighting “da série Vistaña” and “Porninho”:

Even though I believe that the work itself is the one who speaks, it’s also important to present my reflection of this practice, of this experience that became art. These are 4 works that I made over more than a decade, and it’s very interesting to understand the reasoning from this point of view also.

The language of cinema, of literature, the narrative structures, be it visual or written, spur me on to work. I love to listen to filmmakers talking to each other: the other day I checked out a conversation between Tarkovski (who bewitches me) and Kurosawa, who touches my soul. These conversations are really genuine. When I watch or watch again a movie it’s amazing, there’s always something new to reflect on, a new feeling… It’s an exercise.  That’s were my research and study paths come from, I study my sources of interest which may times lead to ideas and even works.

This set of artworks that are now part of PIPA’s collection was made over 12, 13 years (it’s very curious how time passes). And after a while I realized that what triggered it was a story from the book “Three Tales”, by Gustave Flaubert. The three texts are splendid, but “A Simple Heart” was the one that struck me.

From that point, I did my first work with taxidermy: two glass plates encrusted on the floor and a parakeet flying or holding the plates. I learn a lot with this technique, which heads me to other works and matters. Taxidermy is strange, and that instigates me. Something else that I now realize is that maybe I’m a “work series” type of person – multiple editions are strange to me. I can’t make them. To me, each work is unique, and when they are gathered around a certain topic, I name them as a series: when they connect and understand each other in their own poetry. In 2010 I made one of the first ones, iron bar and bird, and then came the ones with glass, laser cut and metallized nest from the series “Porninho”, and then “Vistaña” – laser cut glasses and taxidermized bird.

“da série Vistaña”, 2016, sculpture, glass and taxidermized bird, 100 x 40 cm

The curious thing is that taxidermy was something distant to me and it even caused me disgust, but the work followed me and then it made me excited. After some time and with this topic hovering around, I received and found a few bird nests. Observing each one of them, realizing their architecture – objective but organic, by the tangle of branches and the cosiness for life – I decided to metallize them and, in this way, maintain their essence. Metallization is a process that configures a kind of bath in which a metal layer covers the object.

The “Porninho” series consists of three works: on the glasses, the laser cut recreates the planar geometry of these nests that lean to become one when they depend on it to form themselves, since they are hanging, fitted on the glass, and still leaning on the wall, they establish a dialogue with the architecture.

Nest, geometric cut, flat surface, the glass, the nest… I used three types of nests: a very weird one that my dad brought me from Pantanal; the other one that I found on the ground must be from a sabiá bird; and a smaller one that must be from a hummingbird, I’m not sure. I collected them for a while. With them metallized and being so fragile, I decided to immortalize them in these works.

“Porninho”, [detail], 2013, sculpture, glass and metallized bird nest, 40 x 140 cm

In the “Vistaña” series – title that came from a delicious wine – this matter was still intriguing me. So the taxidermized birds fitted in laser cuts on glass emerged. These are trajectories in the shape of part of geometric solids, in which the inlaid bird completes the graphic design, including in it the shadow created by the cut on the glass and by the light that is projected on the wall as well. This counterpoint, this contradiction interests me. This non-obvious, the weirdness gets my attention: what at first seems disorganised has a well studied and decanted order. I really need time… The loose ends of a work lead me to another one. The lack of explanation needs to be in my work and that’s how it is in general.

Click here to visit Ana Paula’s webpage on the Institute’s website.

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