Janaina Wagner

by Julia Lima

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

“In or out | Keep the door closed at all times.”

Janaina Wagner is an artist from São Paulo who explores the conflicting relationships between man and his surroundings, between architecture and nature, between machine and body. His works break down the tensions of our time through videos, interventions, installations, drawings, paintings and photographs.

With a degree in Journalism and Visual Arts, Wagner often employs documentary resources or appropriates other people's records, telling stories – fictional or not – through constellations of images. The artist also articulates works that adhere to the cinematographic language, making use of both narrative mechanisms and equipment and devices typical of this medium.

Decoupage, the process of “collaging” filmed shots, organizing the cuts and transitions of scenes, for example, is a constant part of his vocabulary, and appears directly in his video works and indirectly in works such as “Fins”, a book that brings together the final excerpts of 78 different novels, with no mention of the original writing. Or even in “News from the end of the world”, a collection of 174 film frames pop that present apocalyptic narratives resulting from natural disasters. The artist collected the images, resized them to the same measurements as the photographs published in the Sunday edition of the newspaper A Folha de São Paulo, and reprinted them on newsprint, creating an immense cloud of fictitious, artificial images, close to the status of “fact”. or “reality” by the support material.

Repeatedly, his interest in architecture also emerges in his research, whether in “Casa V”, with the transposition of the design of a house onto the walls of the exhibition space by means of carbon paper decals; either in “Farandole”, with the insertion of an epigraph in brass around a structural pillar of a building by Oscar Niemeyer that was never finished in Barra da Tijuca; whether in “Civilização”, with the insertion at the top of a building of wooden steps adjacent to a plank (reminiscent of walking on the plank of pirate ships) – a nefarious invitation or an insolent challenge?

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