Tamar Guimaraes’s The Work of the Spirit (Parade)

Tamar Guimaraes’s The Work of the Spirit (Parade)


Tamar Guimarães

May 30, 2011

Tamar Guimarães
The Work of the Spirit (Parade)

28 May–17 July 2011

155 Vauxhall Street
London SE11 5RH


For her first solo exhibition in the UK, Tamar Guimarães presents a newly commissioned short film alongside two existing works: Canoas (2010) and A Man Called Love (2008).

Guimarães’ research-based practice deals with the staging of history. Gathering and manipulating archival images and texts, the artist investigates the relationship between labour, culture and privilege. Her speculative narratives are each rooted in competing instances of modernity, from the theatres and opera houses of 1910s London to the modernist architecture of 1950s Brazil. Often foregrounding social and class structures, they call into question the role of the left.

The slide presentation and accompanying publication A Man Called Love give an account of Francisco Candido Xavier (1910–2002), a Brazilian psychic medium who wrote over 400 books, dictated to him by the dead. Tracing an unusual relationship between redemption and forms of resistance, the work describes how Xavier’s version of Spiritism aligned all too neatly with the conservative views of the ruling class during the years of dictatorship in Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

The video Canoas centres upon a cocktail party at Oscar Niemeyer’s Casa das Canoas; a masterpiece of Brazilian modernist architecture bordered by tropical jungle. In these seductive surroundings, we overhear snippets of guests’ conversations, which range from discussions about the quality of the champagne to the questioning of Gilberto Freyre’s observation that “Brazil has an eroticism that transcends race and class.” The collaging of these fractured statements serves to problematise the habits and routines of cultural producers.

Guimarães’ new commission documents the teaching of the modernist ballet Parade (1917), choreographed by Léonide Massine. The film looks at the overlap between the symbolic and economic value of works of art, which has led the Estate of Massine to refer to choreography as a ‘work of the spirit’*.

* massine-ballet.com


Friday 24 June, 7pm
Gasworks’ Exhibitions Curator Robert Leckie leads an informal tour of the exhibition, offering an insight into Tamar Guimarães’ research topics and the themes behind her film works.

Wednesday 29 June, 7–9pm
Tamar Guimarães discusses her artistic practice and its broader contexts with art historian and curator Lars Bang Larsen.

• Tamar Guimarães was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.
• The artist’s recent exhibitions include The 29th São Paulo Biennial; The watchers, the liars, the dreamers, Frac Ile-de-France / Le Plateau, Paris; Panorama, Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil; solo shows at David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, at Artspace Sydney and the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia; Bright Morning Star/ Kenneth Anger cycle, at Galeria Zé dos Bois, Lisbon, Portugal; the 7th Gwangju Biennial (Korea); the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial (China) and I know the world, Smart Project Space, Amsterdam.
• Guimarães was a studio fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program (NY) in 2007–2008 and a research curator for the Third Guangzhou Triennial in 2008.
• With a strong reputation for discovering and introducing new international talent in London, Gasworks is committed to supporting research and production of new work by emerging artists. Through exhibitions, residencies and fellowships, Gasworks has worked with hundreds of artists from more than 60 countries around the world, including Tania Bruguera, Subodh Gupta, Renata Lucas, Goshka Macuga, Yinka Shonibare, Javier Tellez and more recently, Matthew Darbyshire, Simon Fujiwara, Mateo López, Olivia Plender, Gabriel Sierra, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and The Otolith Group.

Free admission. Opening times: Wed–Sun 12–6pm. Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, London SE11 5RH. Nearest tube: Oval/ Vauxhall. Open late until 9pm on the last Friday of every month, except bank holidays.

For further information, images, interview requests and other media enquiries, please contact Kristel Raesaar: call +44(0)20 7587 5202, +44(0)7828037931 or email kristel@gasworks.org.uk.

Tamar Guimaraes's The Work of the Spirit (Parade)
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May 30, 2011

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