Welcome to PIPA 2021 Selected Artists Takeover! Until October 16th, the artists “open the doors of their studios” to the virtual audience of PIPA Prize, with videos, photos, and texts exclusively prepared for the takeover. Each week, one artist presents their work. From October 4th to 9th, Ventura Profana talks about his trajectory in the artistic world, what he has produced, in addition to presenting recent works. At the end of the takeover, a talk with the PIPA Institute curator, Luiz Camillo Osorio, is scheduled to happen at Preview platform (whose creator is the critical and curator Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro) to discuss the recent changes in PIPA Prize and present the Selected artists, as part of the takeover month.
In this 12th edition, PIPA Prize brings a new format. It is aimed to gather artists who had their first exhibition no more than ten years ago. The focus of PIPA 2021 is to encourage artists at the beginning of their careers who develop a differentiated production. The material below is available in a reduced version also on the Prize’s social networks. Keep an eye out and follow us on the Instagram, Twitter and Facebook platforms.
And remember that the Selected Artists are also being presented in the exhibition on display at Paço Imperial, in Rio de Janeiro, alongside the PIPA Prize 2020 Winners. The exhibition is open until November 20th. It will be a pleasure to receive you there!
Salvador, Brazil, 1993
Lives and works in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
PIPA Prize 2020 and 2021 nominee
PIPA 2021 Selected Artist
Daughter of the mysterious entrails of mother Bahia, Ventura Profana prophesies multiplication and abundant black, indigenous, and travesti life. Doctrinated in Baptist temples, she is a missionary pastor, evangelist singer, writer, composer, and visual artist, whose practice is rooted in researching the implications and methodologies of Deuteronomic in Brazil and abroad, through the spread of neo-Pentecostal churches. Praises, like the sting of a dagger, licked with wax and rust in Pharisees’ hearts.
Video produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for PIPA 2021:
One of the main themes of Ventura Profana’s artistic research is the presence of the Evangelical Church and its dogmas in Brazil. Starting from a break with the “Christian guilt”, which governed Ventura’s childhood and family history for nearly 20 years, the black and transvestite artist reconciles with her past to explore the symbols of faith, subverting them in her work.
In 2020, Ventura developed the work “Plantações de traveco para a eternidade”, for the exhibition at Centro Cultural São Paulo, in Brazil, curated by Hélio Menezes. In it, she builds a structure that simulates a congregation to gather many of her works that imagine “antidotes to Christian poison”. The artist also uses the image of the “lord” as a representation not only of the neo-Pentecostal religion but also of the cisgender patriarchy that dominates the system in which we live. See the images below:
Multimedia artist, Ventura Profana also produces songs and videos. In 2020, she released the album “Traquejos Pentecostais para Matar o Senhor”, in a musical partnership with Podeserdesligado.
See one of the videos produced for the album in which she affirms the travesti living power and listen to the other songs here.
“Eu não vou morrer”, 2020. Duration: 4’32”
Using as a reference the language and images presented to the public of the evangelical churches, Ventura Profana creates, in the pamphlets below, her own speech based on private experiences. For the consecration and construction of transexual bodies, Ventura disarticulates ideas and proposes aesthetics that allow us to glimpse other poetics and places of occupation for subjectivities outside the white, heterosexual and colonial regime.
Conversation between Luiz Camillo Osorio and Ventura Profana
1 – Where did it all begin? How and when did the transformation into Ventura Profana as an artist and performer happen? Which artists, historical or contemporary, have inspired you into taking that jump?
At first, there was the end. And with the end I laid. I was the end. We were at the beginning. All these things were shaped by the end. And with no ending, nothing that was made could be standing. At the end, there was life, and life is our darkness. Darkness shines over whiteness, and whiteness is not able to understand it.
2 – You are a singer, a performer or an evangelist missionary from the Kingdom of Trans-mutation?
I’m being poured out as a drink offering. In truth, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. We work for the food which perisheth, and for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which we give ourselves unto. We are the asshole of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye have seen me, and yet believe not. All that which hath been taken from us shall come unto us; and what cometh to us, we will in no wise cast out.
3 – How are religion and resistance connected? What is the difference between the sacred and the profane? Which are the forces that move you?
I bounce against the Lord’s peace. For that I am elected and financed. I blossom, boisterous, in tune with the never-ending scent of the infinite breath of change that will never cease. I don’t fit this occasion. In the name of the Jesus from Israel, my tent was destroyed, and all my cords are broken. However, I’ve built a home in all the years, which were also centuries, sums of months, pieces of eras, and stretches of generations. Sustained by entwined tendons during all time, I am the wall of the eye, the wind that storms in and escapes through the window, regardless of your control. Windstorms have no homeland. Homelands are valleys of dry bones. Our profanation is to live seven times longer; it’s to overcome cisgenderness, powerless. It is to poison you with our eyes’ dancing silence. Colonial rules have, indeed, the facade of wisdom, with their pretense religiosity, false humility and necropolitics adversary to the bestialized bodies. Vain and deceitful philosophies that enslave are at the foundation of human traditions and of the elementary principles of modernity. Every man has become brutish and is without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his graven image; for his carved images are a fraud, and there is no breath of life in them. Therefore, they have no value whatsoever to restrain the urges of transmutation, because in our corporeality lies the plenitude of divinity.
4 – Lygia Clark, in a very different context, talked about “rites without myth”. Your performances allegorize the rituals of the neo-pentecostal churches and aim to transgress and transform them with the dissident bodies of queers and travestis. Is there a new mythology on the way? Is the future trans-human?
Starting from the asshole, taking it as a foundation. Those who build transcend the cross. That is, life is in the asshole reconciling with the world, not imputing to them its sins, and putting in us the word of reconciliation, so that we are ambassadors on the part of the ass, as if life begs for us. So we beg you, on the part of the ass, to be reconciled with life. Some were appointed for apostles, some for prophets, others for evangelists, and others for pastors and teachers, in order to prepare the profane for the work of the ministry, so that the body may be built up, until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of the asshole, and we reach maturity, reaching the measure of plenitude.
5 – In your performances and videos, do you use a previously defined script? Do you write the lyrics of your songs?
I do not forgive you. You do not cancel a written bond like that. These things are shadows of what is coming; the reality that does not lie within you. I will not allow that your pleasure in a false humility and in the worshipping of the angels prevent us from reaching the restitutions. I am united to the Head, from which all the body, being supplied and knit together by the joints and bands, increaseth. I am dead to the rudiments of the world, though, as if still living in it, I subject myself to its ordinances: “Handle not, nor taste, nor touch!”; all of these things are to perish with the using, for they are based upon human commandments and teachings.
6 – Is the experimentation with the trans body a spiritual experimentation and a transformation of what we understand as human? At the same time, your performances bring lots of originating elements, such as water and earth. What is the direction of this generalised deterritorialization and affirmation of Life? Tell us a little bit about that.
I’m a hustle in every sense. I cannot stand suffering. I carry the work of an evangelist, entirely fulfilling my ministry.
7 – How did the pandemic affect you and your work? What will never be the same?
Behold, I tell you a mystery: we all shall not sleep, but we shall all be transformed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, to the sound of the last trumpet.