Cinthia Marcelle’s critical and poetic art arrives at Barcelona’s MACBA (2022)

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Barcelona (Spain), Jul 13 (EFE) – The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) inaugurated on Wednesday the first world retrospective dedicated to the work of Brazilian artist Cinthia Marcelle, who unites poetry and social criticism.

Under the title “A Conjunction of Factors”, the MACBA exhibition, which will be open to the public from July 15 to January 8, 2023, includes works made from 1999 to the present and combines film and photographic pieces with large-scale installations.

Featuring works dating from 1999 to the present day, and combining evocative moving image works and photographs with large-scale installations and subtle spatial interventionsA Conjunction of Factors brings into focus the distinct aesthetics of Cinthia Marcelle’s work – from the creation of atmospheric mise-en-scènes to the development of a poetics of accumulation, multiplication and repetition.

The exhibition also draws attention to Cinthia Marcelle’s established practice of engaging diverse participants – from manual workers and musicians to individuals she meets in daily life – in her artistic production. The actions they perform for photographs and on film lie between the staged and the spontaneous, appearing to be both fictional and entirely true to life. Combined with materials and colours that evoke specific contexts, the involvement and representation of others in her work alludes to the hierarchies of labour, class and race that pervade our daily interactions and the prevailing social and political order.

cinthia marcelle
‘The Family In Disorder Truth Or Dare’ is an introduction to Cincthia Marcelle which was created at her residency in South Africa, The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. Oxford, UK – 29 Mar 2018. Photo: Profimedia

The phrase ‘a conjunction of factors’ is commonly used to explain how significant events occur – not because of a single cause but through an unpredictable interaction between multiple actors and forces. Emphasising Cinthia Marcelle’s conjunctive approach to both practice and authorship, the exhibition features work produced as a solo artist, as a duo with Tiago Mata Machado and Jean Meeran, and in partnership with the online platform

Described by the artist as a ‘rupture’ in her practice, the two part-installation The Family in Disorder (2018–) is pivotal to a new configuration of MACBA’s ground floor galleries, designed in collaboration with the São Paulo architectural practice, Vão. On entering, visitors tuning to the right will encounter a dead end: a black-carpeted room divided by a neatly stacked barricade made of bulk quantities of the materials Marcelle commonly uses. Turning to the left, they will find a large open area that contains a second installation – one made from the same materials by a number of students and art professionals who have occupied the space in Marcelle’s absence prior to the opening.

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Cinthia Marcelle, artist. Italy, 09/05/2017, Venice Art Biennale International Exhibition, Giardini Brazilian Pavilion. Photo: Profimedia

Visible twenty-four hours a day through the gallery’s glass façade, the exhibition’s second large-scale installation takes the form of a radio station and a carpeted stage. This new iteration of the series On Air (2019–) sets the scene for the collective restaging of two plays: Sortilégio (1951) by Brazilian scholar, poet, activist, dramatist and founder of the Teatro Experimental do Negro, Abdias do Nascimento (1914–2011) and Une Tempête (1969), a critical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by the French-Martinican poet, author, politician and co-founder of the négritudemovement, Aime Cesaire (1913–2008).

To restage the plays, online and onsite visitors are invited to access the platform. Instead of delivering a scripted dialogue, they are invited to add a link to any online song. Their chosen music will be instantly broadcast on stage, triggering changes in lighting. As individual choices overlap with and interrupt those made by others, a distanced interaction between decisions, people and places will result in an ongoing, unpredictable, conflictive and cacophonous performance.

Cinthia Marcelle’s exhibition ”A Conjuction of Factors” is curated by Isobel Whitelegg. She is an art historian, writer and curator, specialising in contemporary art from Latin America (especially Brazil) and its histories. In 2009 she curated Cinthia Marcelle’s first London exhibition, This Same World Over, and has written regularly about the artist’s work since then. She is Director of Postgraduate Research at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, and was formerly Head of Public Programmes at Nottingham Contemporary and LJMU Research Curator at Tate Liverpool. Exhibitions curated include Signals, if you like I shall grow (Kurimanzutto, New York, and Thomas Dane, London), Equipe 3 (Museu da Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo) and Geraldo de Barros, What Remains (The Photographers Gallery, London). (via MACBA)

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