Project room: Mariana Mauricio

4 March - 10 April 2010

Private View:
Wednesday 3 March, 6–8pm

Mummery + Schnelle is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of works by Brazilian artist Mariana Mauricio.

In her work Mauricio re-examines the history and environment of Rio de Janeiro, where she grew up. She hunts for old photographs - mostly those capturing images of the family life and holiday scenes of well-to-do Brazilian families in the 1960s and 70s –- that become the basis for her work. Images such as these informed Mauricio's childhood vision of a time before her birth, but they are in stark contrast to the historical reality that Brazil was under a dictatorship at that time which was responsible for the disappearance and torture of thousands.

Some of the original photographs have become discoloured, scratched or ripped over time and through neglect. This deterioration invests the images with a physical sense of fading memories, of loss and of the passing of time, all of which Mauricio builds upon. Having chosen images that contain undercurrents of staged, or false, cheerfulness and underlying tension, Mauricio re-works the photographs, further scratching, painting over or sewing into them, or bleaching their surfaces. These interventions often feel violent, adding or enhancing a sense of anxiety inherent in the images.

Mauricio then transforms the photographs completely by scanning them with a high-resolution scanner and reprinting new works of art that are larger than the original images. Paradoxically, in the enlarged images, the scanned stains, rips and threads –- now in two dimensions –- seem to appear more real and pronounced. The shift in medium –- from photographs to giclée prints –- enhances the relationship of Mauricio's interventions to the formal structure of the found image and distances the viewer from the factual content of the photograph. The new print tugs the picture into the present, suggesting a cyclical nature of history. Mauricio's artwork begins a life of its own during which it will be subjected to new interpretations.

Mariana Mauricio was born in Rio de Janeiro and lives and works in London.

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