In her first exhibition in Brazil, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (1972, San Juan, Puerto Rico) occupies the entire exhibition space at Pivô with a multilayered audiovisual installation: Oriana. Drawing from themes and the atmosphere of the book Les Guerrilleres, by French feminist writer Monique Wittig (1969), she creates a long feature film split into chapters screened separately throughout the space. In the novel, an all-female tribe articulates a war against men and all patriarchal structures, including language. Among the most potent weapons used in their onslaught against the other sex are laughter and affection. For several years, Muñoz visited the book and articulated a loose visual translation of the French author’s highly free and poignant atmosphere. The long and open-ended process of its making is compatible with the extraordinary task of imagining and enacting a post-patriarchal future. Pivô’s fragmented architecture and the original soundtrack composed by the Brazilian band Rakta are sensorial guidelines to a visual journey in which female bodies move freely towards a new syntax. This exhibition points out that significant structural changes might emerge from formal revolutions and radical communitarian experiments, such as the one proposed by Wittig and endorsed by Santiago Muñoz.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz‘s work results from a committed engagement with the participants (sometimes co-authors) of her films and audiovisual pieces. She places her fragmented narratives deliberately on the threshold between documentary and fiction, in which the particular rhythm and the sophisticated bareness of her images are in itself an invitation to de-automatize a way of seeing and being in the world. Santiago Muñoz’s camera inhabits and makes itself present in the most immediate reality of her subjects, almost always living in her native Puerto Rico or elsewhere in the Caribbean. Once a meaningful bond is established between those in front and behind the camera, her sharp critical eye works to open different communication channels, unveil hidden layers, and reshuffle the structural narratives of often familiar surroundings. A non-linear approach to time, the commitment to her most immediate community, and the deliberate alternation of perspectives permeate the artist’s work. Her films unveil the ever-present colonial mentality in the Caribbean, and, at the same time, celebrate the possibilities of inhabiting the present according to another logic and from a ‘shared subjectivity’ that takes both confluences and conflicts into account.
During the opening of the exhibition, on Saturday, August 28, from 1 pm to 7 pm, the band Rakta will present live improvised music based on the film's soundtrack.
The exhibition is co-produced by Pivô Arte e Pesquisa and Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.
Curatorship: Fernanda Brenner
Learn more about the artist here.
Service Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Oriana
period: 05/09 – 06/11/2021
visiting hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 1pm to 7pm
entrance: free admission
Caroline A. Jones, Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).