“I've always been carnival and drag. And the works bring this universe of fantasy, props and makeup. It's as if I had removed these elements from the body, giving them a new form", reveals the artist Rafa Bqueer about the ten new sculptures that she presents in the exhibition mouth that eats everything, at C. Gallery, in Rio de Janeiro, curated by Paulete Lindacelva.
Known as performance works, photos and videos, the artist created, for the first time, three-dimensional works inspired by carnival, but which also unfold in themes that the artist had already been working on, such as the universe of Drag Themônia (a montage group that was born in Belém that makes references to “ancestral figures in monstrous drag”) and the fight for racial and gender issues.
The works are composed of sequins, stones and various fabrics, elements that were part of the 2020 carnival (the last pre-pandemic carnival) and were donated by the Grande Rio samba school. The biggest highlight is the sculpture of the mouth that gives the title to the exhibition, which represents “a hungry mouth that cannot be satisfied”. The curator explains: “Everything passes through the mouth of Exu. Exu's hunger does not cease, because it is through his mouth that everything happens, converges, shares. In the mouth of Exu, the mystery of every living event is established. Swallow to return ambiguously! This goes beyond the idea of anthropophagy, as it is much older and it is in the difference that the mystery happens”.
very connected to carnival, Bqueer was the highlight of this year's winning school, whose theme was Exu, which also inspired the artist in the creation of new works. “The basis for the creation of these new works was this year's Grande Rio parade, the reference of Exu. Chew the universes and throw up a new project”, says the artist, who began her story with the carnival in Belém, where she worked in several parades, including the Império de Samba Quem São Eles, one of the largest associations in Pará, in addition to having worked in several Carioca schools of groups D, B and A.
The works also address the issue of racism, bringing their experiences with samba school parades, drag art and the mass culture of the peripheries to question Eurocentric symbols of power, as well as the absence of Afro-Brazilian and LGBTQIA+ narratives in art. -education and in art institutions.
Location: C. Galeria
Address: Rua Visconde de Carandaí, 19, Jardim Botânico – Rio de Janeiro
Date: Until July 17
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 11am to 6pm. Saturdays by appointment