JULIANA CERQUEIRA LEITE
13 September - 4 November 2018
Thursday 13 September, 6-8pm
Arsenal Contemporary is pleased to present the Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based artist, Juliana Cerqueira Leite’s first solo presentation in New York, Until Different. The exhibition opens 13 September and runs through 4 November, 2018.
Juliana Cerqueira Leite reformulates environments, negating their mere reassertion through acts of pivotal transformation. Resulting from an intrinsic choreography between the force of the body and the materials it presses against, the artist’s sculptures collide interior spaces with externalized physical gestures. These captured shades of motion engender an archeology of movement and time in a scale that is expressively human, yet located within a language that is innately geological.
Until Different arcs from untold past to storied future; addressing tradition mutated through colonialist infrastructure. The exhibition takes as its framework the inevitable collapses of societies brought on by imaginings of betterment. This formulation operates as sanctuary from our present moment, envisioning sites for the potential displacement of our world as it reaches entropy.
Culminating from her research on ancient Amazonian funerary urns discovered in contemporary Brazil, Cerqueira Leite presents a series of human-scaled vessels created through a deft casting process of the artist’s body. The anthropomorphism of the sculptures relates to the primary objects the artist’s study which dually functioned as containers and portals, holding the body of the deceased while enabling its, sometimes animal, morphing into the afterlife. Like these urns, Cerqueira Leite’s sculptures are tightly wound between preservation and transmutation.
Presented in the backroom, the exhibition features an in-situ performance which runs the course of exhibition. For this occasion, Cerqueira Leite has built a life-size paper reconstruction of SHEE, a novel self-deploying habitat, meant to offer two weeks of residency in otherwise non-hospitable grounds, such as Mars or sites of atomic warfare. Presented in its retracted form, Cerqueira Leite fills the voids of the constricted architecture, exposing the potential openings of a closed space.
Juliana Cerqueira Leite (b.1981, Brazilian) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She studied at Chelsea College of Art in London and holds a MFA in sculpture from Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Cerqueira Leite was awarded the Furla Art Prize at the 5th Moscow International Young Art Biennial in 2016, as well as the Fellowship from A.I.R Gallery in 2010-2011 and the Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Prize in 2006. Her work has been exhibited at Sculpture Center in New York; Instituto Tomie Ohtake in Brazil; The Venice Biennale; The Vancouver Biennale; Cass Sculpture Foundation in West Sussex; The Approach in London and Art Public at Art Basel Miami.