Work by Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro

Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro’s solo show in New York considers themes of metamorphosis and transformative encounters

(New York, USA)

Until November 11, Mendes Wood DM presents Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro’s solo exhibition Remember when we talked about meeting again. To know more about the show, read below fragments from the curatorial text by Germano Dushá:

“[…] a title which refers to both the start of a conversation and a reminiscence of an essential prophecy. The exhibition gathers photographs, a video work, and oil paintings alongside a site-specific installation of black soil, articulating intangible mysteries and radical materialities to consider themes of metamorphosis and transformative encounters.

The work of Brasileiro intertwines spiritual visions based on Bantu matrices and the black diaspora of Brazil; speculative astrophysics; and her practice as a clinical psychologist. Centered upon the notion of cura as a transitional state of freedom, it is linked with notions of transmutation and hybridism as a true way to health. It embraces the dynamics of movement and mutability as paths towards rethinking the lingering effects of colonization and modernity and its oppressive, inflexible drives. Above all, it unlocks fundamental strategies to forge meaningful connections through spiritual, social, and emotional autonomy.

In the video and photo performances, her body appears in different stages and scenarios, but always engaged in deep vital processes. These magnetic images come to light both as stunning visualities and complex concepts. Working simultaneously as talismans and conceptual tools, these images can influence cognitive shifts, diluting constructed dichotomies related to race, gender, and sexualities, but also echoing interspecies and interplanetary relations, thus tensioning the limits between human and environment, culture and nature, the earthly and the extraterrestrial, the physical and the ethereal.

[…] Works from Brasileiro’s Corpoflor (2016 – ongoing) series work as a dynamic, experimental ontology; an investigation on a flux of memories and affections emerging from the artists’ inner sphere, in which the performativity of the body gives external contours to unnamable internal processes. These self-portraits, thus, are investigations on genders, desires, muscles, fluids, temperatures and all the phenomena going on inside of a body that cannot be fully explained. The two works on view are the latest works in the Corpoflor series made in Alcântara, Maranhão. A city on Brazil’s northern coast, Alcântara has a complex context marked by a profound ancestral history, a great number of quilombos, impressive colonial ruins and now the site of the Brazilian Space Center and launching facility. Brasileiro appears in Corpoflor adorned with white and black body paint, akin to a living vocabulary astride a motorcycle with an Exú license plate, colorful feathers, and a headdress. The vehicle represents transition and embodies Exú, the Afro Brazilian Orixá commonly associated with streets, crossroads, and which is connected to communication and language, serving as a messenger and mediator between humans and deities. Her body is integrally connected to her environment, to the colorful ornaments, to the automobile, to the artificial light, and to the dark matter of the night.

These works come from a promise the artist made to herself: to continue transmuting, as a kind of radical hybridity, with different lives, realms, and worlds. Every time a Corpoflor appears, it gives birth to a new body, configuration, appearance, and mixture of signs, symbols, colors, and textures — a new way of existing. The artist writes, ‘Every Corpoflor is a spark coming from inside of me, originated to remind me that I can always assume forms of living not previously envisioned by me or to me. These images are created as a ritual to give me energy to keep wandering in this world of the living and in the world of the dead.’

From spiritual sublimations to the transfiguration of the flesh, the ontology that rises from Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro’s works suggests the coming of a new language, broadening understandings of the nature of life, the human condition, and the agency of the non-human. In her endeavors in the spiral of time, Brasileiro makes contact with earthly and celestial powers, exchanging energies to create truthful unions”.

To read the complete curatorial text, click here.

“Remember when we talked about meeting again”, solo show by Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro
From October 14 until November 11, 2022

Mendes Wood DM New York 
47 Walker Street, New York NY 10013, USA
Tue – Sat, 10 am – 6 pm
+1 212 220 9943

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