(this page was last updated in May 2020)
Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 1983.
Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
PIPA Prize 2020 nominee.
Carolina Cordeiro graduated at Federal University of Minas Gerais, with a master at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, continues her research currently in a PhD at the University of São Paulo with a scholarship for Visiting Students at Chelsea College of Arts, London. She has held solo shows, collective exhibitions in Brazil and abroad. She also participated in artistic residencies in Barcelona, Berlin and São Paulo, where she currently lives and works.
Video produced by Do Rio Filmes, exclusively for PIPA Prize 2020:
About the artworks
– “Dizem que há um silêncio todo negro”, 2019
In this project, the library skylight is covered with zinc sheets. I make a direct interference within the architectural structure of the house and, I also refer to a whole tradition of samba and popular Brazilian music that speak of these poor houses made with zinc sheets. This material is mentioned in the Brazilian song, as a constructive and domestic element, since the beginning of the 20th century, but because it is considered a poor material it does not appear in our official history.
The procedure changes the lighting in the library and the perforations in the plates are crossed by sunlight, splashing the floor with luminous dots, creating a floor of stars (a present and very revisited sentence from the tradition of our song). But the zinc drilled in the roof can also be related to the current state violence within Brazilian favelas that often suffer from gunshots fired from helicopters.
They Say That There Is An All Black Silence is a phrase taken from the book Cravo, by the Portuguese poet Maria Velho da Costa. The book was written during the Cravo Revolution in Portugal and tells about the lives of women in the revolution.
– “Castelos”, 2019
Playing cards made of zinc build little castles that spread throughout the architecture of the house. Here the dialogue takes place directly with the space, which is invaded by small and fragile structures. The galvanized steel is widely used in precarious constructions in Brazil, as in favelas, and has been mentioned in several samba lyrics as zinc, since the 1930s, always as a constructive element. Despite being ignored by the history of architecture, this material never ceased to exist in the impoverished buildings that accommodate and structure themselves as they can in a precarious balance in the hills and corners of the cities. It is more present in our history than we want to admit and reflects a perverse project of exclusion. In order to make this piece, I need the concentration and time spent on these fragile structures that can fall and fall apart at any moment. The procedure requires presence and attention and counts on the luck factor to remain standing throughout the period of the show.
– “Há uma observação a ser feita”, 2019
Series of collages that restructure catalog sheets collected in a public archive of the city of São Paulo in visual poetry. From a month-long immersion in the São Paulo Cultural Center archive, I realized how difficult it was to access the information contained there. The bureaucracy intends to protect that historical material, but at the same time makes access to it impossible. Thinking about it, I collected all the material I could access there that was no longer used. I made the collages that carry elements of the institution itself, but at the same time break free from the rigid structures in the form of visual poetry.
– “As Impurezas do Branco”, 2019
I left the book on the garden grass and, with the help of time, carry out the work. Where the book rests, the grass loses its green pigmentation, becomes devitalized, becomes whitish. The title and cover of this first edition of the publication, a white rectangle in the center of a red rectangle, impacted me. The poet speaks of Minas Gerais, where my city is located and there is intense mining, and dialogues directly with the landscape to which I usually refer in my works. The word “impurity” is related to what has become conventionally one of the signs of purity in the Western, the white. In this way, the phrase, the cover and the presence of the book, can be thought of as a small gesture that unveils the whole load of real and symbolic violence contained in this convention that spans the centuries, brutally oppresses and defines the subjective condition of individuals who participate and constitute themselves as a reflection of that culture in a complex context like ours.
– “Paisagem”, 2019
This work is the record of an action revealed by the marks left by my hands dirty with soil that stretched the linen fabrics on the chassis. The red earth is an element present in my production because it is predominant in Belo Horizonte, my hometown, and its surroundings. Mineral exploitation in this area not only directly modifies the landscape, it also spreads red dust on all the roads and paths that go around the city, impregnating everything and penetrating the least expected places. My feeling is that so much we breathe this fine powder that we are red inside and that each time we exhale we release a little of this atmosphere. At the same time that this place is rich, this red-colored land condemns not only itself, but everything that surrounds it, for being the target of financial greed with destructive potential that finds no limits. The landscape becomes the thought of a landscape that no longer exists.
– “Sem Título”, 2018
Work developed for the Ciclón Compostela in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2018. (For Ciclón, each artist is invited to carry out an exhibition and publication project with 100 A4 sheets that will be reproduced in xerox.) For my project, I drew the guidelines of a notebook in 10 vegetal papers. Each paper generated a group of images from folds made on these sheets, directly on the xerox machine. In the space, 5 groups of images were presented whole and 5 groups were presented closed with only the last image generated by the folds.
– “Último fôlego para seguir rio”, 2016
Three ceramic vases filled with water containing a drop of water from Marajó Bay (where the Amazon River meets the Atlantic Ocean). Homage to the three rivers underground under the building where the work was presented in São Paulo. The work takes as reference the ritual of the native peoples of the Island of Marajó, place of research, that buried their dead in pottery vessels. Here there is an inversion, bringing the rivers back to the surface.
– “Cheia”, 2016
The Northern region of Brazil was the place where I carried out most of the research for the Red Bull art residence, 2016. There are common blends of herbs in small glasses that serve as a cure for all the ills and problems imaginable. What I did was to use the same small glasses, but now containing the water of Bahia de Marajó, the encounter of the Amazon with the Atlantic Ocean.
– “Água Benta”, 2016
Within each bottle with a dropper, there is the same river water present in previous works. Here, I wanted to show a little of this physical / geographical / temporal / spatial / emotional crossing by offering water from the river to be taken in drops, so that those who visited the exhibition could be crossed by the experience and the movement of the river itself.
– “Cruzeiro do Sul”, 2013
The string crosses the space, through a small hole in the wall, and on one side supports a stone and on the other connects some nails that form the constellation Cruzeiro do Sul. This constellation can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere and is very emblematic in the identification the sky of Brazil. The work becomes this tension that can be undone at any moment if the rope is broken by the weight of the stone.
– “Campos de Ação Noturnos”, 2011 – nowadays
Old pillow fabrics in which I interfere with some delicate embroidery. I started in 2011 to embroider the fabrics of the old pillows of my house and then I started collecting and exchanging with friends, some new pillows for old ones that showed the stains caused by the use and the time. I still collect and embroider these fabrics.
– “Uma noite a 550km daqui”, 2010 – 2017
550km is the distance between this exhibition space and Itatiaiuçu, a municipality located in Minas Gerais (Brazil), and the specific place where I collected during the winter in Brazil – the driest season of the year – of 2017 seeds of Xanthium cavanillesii, the Carrapicho. The morphology of these seeds causes them to be dispersed, clinging to the hairs of the animals that pass through them, being able to spread through large areas of land. The idea of gathering a night hundreds of kilometres from the exhibition space, distributing the seeds on a dark blue felt, drawing a celestial map that generates a dialogue between this space in São Paulo and the landscape of my state, Minas Gerais. This work changes title depending on the distance of each place in which it is exposed and that particular sky of Minas Gerais.
– “Dizem Que Há Um Silêncio Todo Negro”, auroras, Sao Paulo, Brazil
– “Há uma observação a ser feita”, Centro Cultural Sao Paulo, Brazil
– “One Night 8360 km From Here”, Angels Barcelona Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
– Lenta Explosión de Una Semilla, Espacio de Arte OTR, Madrid, Spain
– “I Remember Earth”, Magasin des horizons, Grenoble, France
– “Estratégias do Feminino”, Farol Santander, Porto Alegre, Brazil
– “Escuta a procura de som”, Portugal’s Consulate, São Paulo, Brazil
– “Pivô art and research”, Sao Paulo, SP
The conceptual basis of my work is supported on very particular elements within Brazilian culture. The union between what, by convention, has been called high and low culture, the evoking power of the landscape or the economic and social aspects that surround our history are intrinsic to my practice. Sometimes I am driven to explore an unknown place, sometimes to return to a familiar place and, despite the immersion in each experience to do a new project, I always try to keep the distance of the observer.
The landscape enters my work in different ways, starting from the most intimate revealed by domestic objects, passing through the observation of the changes caused by mineral exploitation that surrounds the city where I was born, even the landscape described in the samba lyrics, basis of our culture, which has already portrayed, since the beginning of the 20th century, the evident division of urban space in very marked social classes. I think of historical and cultural issues as central aspects in the modification of the landscape, but I also think that even though it undergoes immense modifications, it still bears an original essence.
The formalization of my projects is always designed to make visible something that could not be seen, but that was present all the time. If I start the research in a conceptual way, the moment of the public presentation is thought and accomplished in a poetic and immersive dimension.
- Discover pages and video-interviews of artists nominated for the first time for the Prize
- MEET THE 72 NOMINEES FOR PIPA PRIZE 2020
- Last days | "Pela Superfície das Páginas" ["Through the Surface of the Pages"]
- Group exhibition addresses pages through different artistic languages
- On view | Group exhibition "Pela Superfície das Páginas" ["Through the Surface of the Pages"]