Full of contradictions, the female body is Regina Parra's creative tool. The artist promotes its discussion and reinvention in two exhibitions now on view in São Paulo
REGINA PARRA portrays the body in dizzying representations. Whether in New York or São Paulo, the territory of the 35-year-old artist from São Paulo is always the same: a body full of contradictions. Returning to Brazil after three months in artistic residency at Annex-B, an artistic organization at Big Apple, she continues to use the body as a starting point and the theme of two exhibitions in which she currently participates in São Paulo at the Tomie Ohtake Institute and at Museum of Modern Art.
At The Tomie Ohtake Institute, she deconstructs her own image into an unprecedented series of paintings - not as a self-portrait but as a study of movement. Next to that, a neon set against the backdrop of Happy Days (1961) and Me Not (1972), by the Irish playwright and writer Samuel Beckett. At MAM's 36th Panorama, on display until November 15, Regina discusses the fragility and materiality of the body with the Diadorim installation, which consists of six oil paintings on paper mounted on a wooden structure. The emblematic neon "Some Escaped" is also part of the exhibition, with images that evoke resistance through potentialities and inventions in a kind of vertigo of contemporary life.
Her consistent research about disciplining the bodies adds 12 years. It meets the feminine - curtailed, oppressed, and charged with normalized violence - and lends the matter itself to her paintings as a way of accessing personal issues and resonate intimately with other bodies.
Her research started with security cameras, indicating how almost unnoticed mechanisms have the power to alter our relationship with our surroundings. Later, the visible and invisible barriers that prevent certain bodies from circulating around the city became a theme in portraying immigrants living in São Paulo. The body, loaded with burdens and often a sense of non-belonging, is what drives its pinches, which vibrate with desire and revulsion, pleasure and pain almost simultaneously.
Poetic ambiguities also appear in the neon installed at times in art institutions, sometimes in public spaces. Used for signage and publicity, Regina has reframed the media as artistic support for at least ten years in an attempt to access more bodies and deliver not a product but reflections for attentive eyes. I must go on (2018), installed at Largo da Batata, during the 8th 3M Art Exhibition, has become a symbol of manifestation and resistance in questioning the limit
place where we are. “How many people go through Largo da Batata every day and are trying hard to just keep going?” Asks the artist.
Graduated in Fine Arts, she had her first training in theater, a period that gave her the opportunity to work with Antunes Filho, one of the country's leading directors. Later, proximity to dance and performance would become a pivotal piece in his repertoire in contemporary art. “Recently, I have been embracing different areas in the same production,” she explains, who, a few years ago, drew up a partnership with choreographer Bruno Levorin for the direction of the choreographic series, Lascivious, with ballerinas Clarissa Sacchelli and Maitê Lacerda.
The artist toured the world integrating group exhibitions in cities such as Milan, Lisbon, Zurich, London and New York, as well as collecting awards such as the 3M Art Exhibition (2018), the Videoart Joaquim Nabuco Foundation (2012) and the Iberê Camargo Scholarship Award (2009).
The extensive curriculum also houses Ophelia, a performance created in partnership with Ana Mazzei and performed by nine women during the opening of Feminist Stories at Masp_Museum of Sao Paulo last month. In late September, she said she plans to return to New York and continue her projects. For her, the moving body remains the substrate of her entire trajectory. “A good work of art deeply affects us because it is a physical, sensitive and of course intellectual reaction. But the gateway is the body, which is also my starting point” she says.