Laura Lima, Doped, ICA Miami

Laura Lima (b. in Governador Valadares, in the state of Minas Gerais, 1971) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lima’s artistic production addresses the complexity of individual and collective behaviors. Since the beginning of her trajectory, in 1990, the Minas Gerais-born artist makes use of living beings (human and animals) as part of her work. In her actions and sculptures, the art object is often activated for long uninterrupted periods. Her reference sources include art history and science fiction, and she employs techniques that range from intricate drawings and collages, to collaborations with artists and craftsmen who activate her work.

In 2014 she won the Bonnefanten Award. Recent exhibitions include:Slight Agitation 4/4 , Horse Takes King, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2018); Welcome to the jungle, Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany (2018); A room and a half, CCA Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2017); Lugares do Delírio [Places of Delirium] (2017 and 2018), at the Museu de Arte do Rio, MAR, Rio de Janeiro and at Sesc Pompeia, in São Paulo, Brazil; Illusion and Revelation (2016-2017), Bonnefanten Museum, the Netherlands. Lima participated in the 1998 and 2006 editions of the Bienal de São Paulo and is a founding partner, along with Marcio Botner and Ernesto Neto, of the A Gentil Carioca art gallery in Rio de Janeiro. The artist is represented by the galleries Luisa Strina (São Paulo), A Gentil Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (Nova York).

Horse Takes King | Fondazione Prada


Laura Lima, Slight Agitation 4/4: Laura Lima, Fondazione Prada

Horse Takes King, an individual exhibition by Laura Lima, opened this summer at Fondazione Prada in Milan and curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose is part of the Slight Agitation 4/4 program.

Lima’s work “Horse Takes King” is a whimsical attempt to distort the senses that determine our perception through three large sculptures, displayed in the spaces of the Cisterna, each contributing to the formulation of an apparently absurd taxonomy. The three monumental works that occupy the space of the Cistern are related to the verticality of the place: “Pendulum” (2018), based on the Pendulum of Foucault, hangs the work ‘Fishermen in the Sun”, by Salvador Dali (1928). “Telescope” (2018), a labyrinthine structure of scaffolding, takes the public to two levels 10 meters from the ground, where, on the first landing, they take astronomy classes with astronomers from the Planetary Civic Ulrico Hoepli of Milan, and on the second landing, find a telescope pointed at the skylight, blinded by sunlight. The last work, “Bird” (2016) (in the image), co-authored with the artist Zé Carlos Garcia, shows a giant bird fallen from the sky, only illuminated by the natural light of the place.

The title of her intervention clearly hints at a chess game, which ultimately creates a illusory space where spectators are invited to move freely, without knowing the broader context that would enable them to understand the artist’s impulse. The works on display invite viewers to elaborate what in astronomical terms is described as a “syzygy”, traditionally intended as a straight-line configuration of three or morecelestial bodies in a gravitational system.


Laura Lima, Pendulum, 2018, Slight Agitation 4/4: Laura Lima, Photo Mattia Balsamini. Courtesy Fondazione Prada

The central space of the Cisterna is occupied by Pendulum (2018), a machine reproducing the movement of Foucault’s pendulum, which showcases a painting at its extremity. The viewer is invited to hypothesise on the origins of such painting.

On the left-hand space, the audience is invited to enter Telescope(2018), a vertical installation which hosts an astronomer’s class. On the first level, a series of astronomy seminars will take place daily at 12.30pm and at 5pm. Conceived by astronomers from LOfficina del Planetario —the association of scientists in charge of the programme at the Civico Planetario in Milan— these seminars are open to all members of the audience. The top level, located about 10 meters from the ground, hosts a telescope pointing to the sky, to be employed by the public only under the guidance of an astronomer.

The right-hand space displays Bird (2016), a sculpture created in collaboration with Brazilian artist Zé Carlos Garcia, representing a massive animal that seems to have fallen from the sky, and landed in the Cisterna by mere accident. The combination of these three works across the exhibition environments question the nature the audience’s engagement with space and place, and challenge the viewers’ perception: the artist openly explores the boundaries between the imaginary and the factual to stress the poetic absurdity inherent to the seemingly real.

Slight Agitation 4/4: Laura Lima is the fourth and last chapter of the exhibition project conceived by Fondazione Prada Thought Council, whose current members are Shumon Basar, Elvira Dyangani Ose, and Dieter Roelstraete.

Fondazione Prada

A Gentil Carioca

Alfaiataria| Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo

Alfaiataria 3

Laura Lima, Tailoring, Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo

The Pinacoteca de São Paulo, a museum of the São Paulo State Secretariat for Culture, presents from July 7 to October 8, 2018, the exhibition Laura Lima: Alfaiataria (Laura Lima: Tailorshop), which occupies the Octagon Space on the first floor of the Pina Luz building. Laura Lima creates here an innovative dialogue with the museum practice by presenting a fully-functional tailoring workshop complete with workers, fabrics and textile materials, trimmings, and the various pieces of equipment used in a clothing factory.

In the workshop, a team of real-life tailors and seamstresses will work everyday throughout the exhibition period. They will produce a collection of garments made over empty frames, creating portraits that interpret the artist’s ideas and designs based on their own experiences and knowledge. The space will be activated by the presence of these professionals and their activities – modeling, cutting, basting, sewing, pressing, finalizing – and, throughout the exhibition period, the public will witness the emergence of these pieces, which will be stored in a technical reserve suspended in the Octagon, especially built for the project. It is expected that approximately 30 works will have been produced by the end of the exhibition.

Alfaiataria 2

Laura Lima, Tailoring, Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo

By setting up a working space with real people in the center of the Pinacoteca, Laura Lima removes the emphasis given to art objects within the space of the museum to focus on everyday events and experiences. According to curator Fernanda Pitta, “Lima refuses to call her works performance works. For the artist, the focus does not lie on underscoring (these particular) subjects or the subjectivity of their actions, but on regarding the participants (whom she calls viventes, or “livers”) of the everyday experience also as the matter of a work of art per se, occupying the space along with and in the same way as the objects, the furniture and the actual architecture.

In Tailorshop, by turning to a traditional, specialized and highly elaborate making process such as that of tailors and seamstresses, Lima also proposes a parallelism with the art-making process and a reflection about the time and value of work. The work dialogues with the space and the history of the Pinacoteca, as it installs a workshop in a building that originally fulfilled this function, once it was created to be the main building of the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios de São Paulo [Lyceum of Arts and Crafts of São Paulo]. It also enables a relationship to be established with the actual urban environment of the museum, with the Bom Retiro neighborhood and its tailoring workshop tradition, textile shops and clothing stores, and with the professionals from various communities, such as that of the Jewish, the Korean and the Bolivian people.


ph. by Laura Lima, Tailoring, Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo

Tailorshop was first exhibited at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, the Netherlands, between 2014 and 2015, as part of the artist’s solo exhibition at the museum, during which she was contemplated with the prestigious 2014 Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art. Its conception at Pinacoteca counts on the support of the Escola de Alfaiataria.

Pinacoteca de sao Paulo

A Gentil Carioca 

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