Silicone rubber, pigment, polyester felt, magnets
3″ x 3 1/2″ x 2”
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented set of challenges for many people. Personally, balancing graduate school research with studio practice under the new set of restrictions became a constant struggle.
One of the aspects that has affected me most has been the isolation: not being able to be physically close to friends and family has forced me to become aware of how having that proximity—or, in this case, the lack thereof—directly affects my emotional well being.
To socialize during the pandemic became not only a matter of public health, but a matter of public interest; remaining distant from people as a safety measure is still a prominent issue here in Brazil. Videos of large gatherings have been continuously shared on social media as a form of denouncement, but government authorities cannot keep up with shutting down illegal parties. Frustrated, those who have been following the rules of social distancing have perhaps found solace (or renewed anger) in the old habit of pointing the finger, joining in a collective ritual of perpetual judgment and dismay.
However, the desire to be physically close to other people is inherent to many of us; whether we act upon it or not is a different story. I also feel compassion for those who wish to be near loved ones and cannot – especially in the cases where a temporary separation has, sadly, become permanent.
I wanted to address this tension in a lighthearted way through the Criatura series. So, for this exhibition, I prepared an animated video: it starts with a group of creatures dancing to electronic music; at first, it seems like they are having a party but, as the frame opens, we see a creature dancing alone while daydreaming of being in company. The dancing creatures are magnetic objects made of silicone rubber and fibers which, when combined with their partner, become wearable brooches.
I had started working on the idea of animating the creatures in a party setting before the pandemic began, but I had left it aside due to time constraints and the theme becoming somewhat inappropriate… The invitation to participate in this exhibition has helped me to embrace this concept by bringing it into the context of the pandemic, as social distancing restrictions have continued to permeate our lives; we may be in the process of resuming normalcy, but its long-term consequences are yet to be fully understood.