28 OCT > 21 NOV
ana rito

«Donnez-moi donc un corps»

The Portuguese visual artist, Ana Rito (Lisbon, 1978), presents, for the first time, a new series of video-installations and films which were completed in the artist’s residence at Carpe Diem - Art and Research, located in the Pombal Palace, in Lisbon. Continuing on with the same line of direction of previous works (Encore, Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon, and, Puppe Project, Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art, Vienna), characteristic of her work, the artist explores the complexity of the Deleuzian cinema-body and its possibilities of being an image that is affected by the temporal dimension, the proto/pseudo narrative, and the psychological, installation process. Creating from the happening and the performance, raw material based on reflexion, she uses video as an effective means to enable the understanding of the (feminine) body as a political-body, to which the gestures and poises are inclined, in reference to Godard, to construct the attitudes of the flesh as categories of the spirit.

In the exhibition ‘There is no world when there is no the mirror’, which has been installed in the same physical space where the works were completed, a set/an ensemble of moments are presented that we could consider here as “para-vídeograficos”, characterized by the ceremonious and liturgical tone of two feminine personages who persistently co-inhabit the space. Having as a reference the happening ‘Koncert Morski’, 1967, by Tadeusz Kantor, Rito conceives ‘Semi-Panoramic Sea Concert’ (2010), a new video-installation, for the antiquated kitchen in the Pombal Palace.
In this piece, a female character “recreates” the Sea Concert in a ritual of gestures and hypnotic repetitions that resize the work of the Polish author. To the artist, Kantor is an outstanding figure of the European scene with respect to his work on performance, happening and indeed the theatre in his various crossings with the visual arts. In ‘Semi-panoramic Sea Concert’ (2010) we attend a first incursion that uses filming outside as the place of activity, and, in a neo-romantic, dimensional perspective of Man before Nature, it transports the body of the performer from the architectural space to the space “out there”, causing one to reflect outside on the internal dimension of I.
The works ‘Horseback’ (2010) and ‘Théâtre Privé’ (2010) render the framing of the gesture problematic, therefore using one of the rooms of the Pombal Palace as a habitable scenic element constituted by attitudes and places. For the author, it is the gesture which awakens the body and not the body which gives life to the gesture. According to Carlos Vidal, the video and photographic artwork of Ana Rito converge towards a “pure theatricalism”, and it is that stylized element, that ‘fluctuation animi’ of which Spinoza talked about, that completely characterizes these works and this project.
Therefore, in ‘Horseback’ (2010) we see two women moving through a series of rooms. They move slowly, given that one of them, positioned on her knees, carries the other, who captures the interest of the spectator during the whole scene, on her back. In ‘Théâtre Privé’ (2010), a female figure is unable to enter a room, which we perceive to be our place of observation. She only presents herself, waits a short time, and then bows out. In this set of states and visits, which are almost corporal soliloquies, it could equally make reference to Deleuze when it describes the notion of staging and the cinema pose as gestures that are not illusory and not real, but rather as something between the two worlds, a type of dramatization of the image which is differentiated from the canonical aspect of the most orthodox theatre. We ought also to distinguish the work ‘Innuendo’ (2010), where we witness a choreography performed by a character who uses a curtain as a physical constraint, limiting the movements that she wishes to carry-out, whilst refraining from moving from the same place.
It is relevant to conclude with a reference to Bruce Nauman, where he explores the repetition, the fatigue or the tiredness, in the search for the gesture which illustrates the idea of transgression, but also of unification between the surrounding space and the corporal limit, should it be around the perimeter of a square, or be it the occupation of a building with Pombaline architecture.
The exhibition ‘There is no world when there is no mirror’ is conceived, therefore, as a reflection, a reflection that returns the dialectic eye between the image and its absence, two extremes which are always present in Ana Rito’s video work.
Hugo Barata


Performers Sophie Leso e Rita Lucas Coelho | Concept and Artistic Direction Ana Rito | Lenght 50m
Support: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian