Berna Reale, “Palomo,” a video performance piece from 2012 in the Amazonian city of Belém, is part of exhibition in New York on Brazilian women artists lending their visibility to human rights issues, rather than gender-related ones.Credit...via Berna Reale and Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo

Read the NY Times article about the group show “Dissident Practices”, with 11 Brazilian women artists

(New York, USA)

The group show Dissident Practices, at Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explores how Brazilian women artists respond to social change — from the military dictatorship in the mid-1960s to the return to democracy in the mid-1980s, the social changes of the 2000s, the rise of the Right in the late-2010s, and the recent development of a more diverse younger generation fighting for gender equality and LGBTQI+ rights. Curated by Claudia Calirman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Music at John Jay College, the exhibition presents more than 30 works, including sculptures, videos, and photographs by 11 prominent and emerging Brazilian artists.

On the last Thrusday, New York Times published an article about the exhibition, “Call Them Dissidents. But Don’t Call Them Feminists“. With emphasis to Berna Reale‘s work, discribes how Brazilian artists from the 20th century didn’t have a space to talk about gender issues. And compare with young artists, as Aleta Valente, who bring feminist discussions to her work.

The exhibition, presented in conjunction with the publications of the book “Dissident Practices: Brazilian Women Artists, 1960s–2020s” by Claudia Calirman (Duke University Press, April 2023), will have an opening reception on Wednesday, May 3, 7-9 p.m. following a roundtable discussion. Among the artists featured are Letícia Parente (1930–1991), Anna Bella Geiger (b. 1933), Anna Maria Maiolino (b. 1942), Regina Vater (b. 1943), Gretta Sarfaty (b. 1947), Lenora de Barros (b. 1953), Berna Reale (b. 1965), Renata Felinto (b. 1978), Fabiana Faleiros (b. 1980), Aleta Valente (b.1986), Lyz Parayzo (b. 1994).

Concerning some of the works presented, Berna Reale embodies the imposing, authoritarian figure of a police officer, pointing to abusive institutional power within the criminal justice system. The black-and-white photomontage “Língua vertebral” (Vertebral tongue; 1998), features an image of Lenora de Barros outstretched tongue on which she has placed a small model of the spinal column. Perverse mechanisms of racial discrimination are addressed in Renata Felintos performative practice. In her video performance “White Face and Blonde Hair” (2012), Felinto dresses as a white executive and walks through São Paulo’s upscale Jardins neighborhood, browsing at high-end boutiques. Aleta Valente is part of a generation of artists who came to the scene at the dawn of the 21st century, using social media to build visibility. In the series of selfies titled “Material Girl” (2015), Valente utilizes the unappealing social landscape of the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro for her posts, turning herself into a tropical, impoverished version of the pop star Madonna.

Check out more about the subject of the show through a video about the book “Dissident Practices: Brazilian Women Artists, 1960s–2020s” by Claudia Calirman (Duke University Press, April 2023):


Berna Reale, OUT, 2023 Monday, May 8, starting inside John Jay at the Jay Walk at 1:30 pm, moving toward 58th Street, passing through Columbus Circle, and ending at Central Park.

“DISSIDENT PRACTICES How Brazilian Women Artists Respond to Social Change”
From April 19 to June 16, 2023
Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 3, 7-9 p.m.

Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 860 11th Avenue (at 59th street), New York
Monday through Friday, from 10-6 PM

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