blouin artinfo, march 29th, 2013

by Fergs Heinzelmann – Angela Freiberger uses the body as an instrument in the performance “Corpo-teto Corpo-chão”.

A conceptual work involving the body as the main support will be presented at Paralelo Gallery, in São Paulo. This is Corpo-teto Corpo-chão, an unprecedented performance conceived and realized by Angela Freiberger. The presentation lasts one hour and is part of the exhibition of the same name, which also features photographs and sculptures by Freiberger under the curatorship of João Paulo Siqueira Lopes and Maria Vittoria Oliveira. In the performance, Angela is supported by a structure made of white fabrics, and interacts with the audience through questions “materialized” in wool and clothespins. On the occasion, she will wear a dress, with a train of more than 2.5 m in length, which brings in its interior the only beam of light that falls on the gallery.
ARTINFOBrasil spoke with Angela Freiberger to learn more about the work that can be seen today at the gallery in São Paulo.

What was the starting point for developing the performance “Body-ceiling Body-ground”?

The starting point came from the situation of physically putting oneself in a state of suspension, between two spaces, the one above and the one below. Thus, the audience’s body will be on the floor and my body will be under the ceiling. This relationship between me and the public will happen through the interaction that takes place between these two media, the one above and the other below. The action that will make it possible to interact with the public will happen through questions proposed by me and that will be materialized – thrown from the gallery ceiling to the floor – through wool threads.

What concept was worked on in the performance and what is its central objective?
The concept is based on the experience of elevating the audience, who will be on the floor, to the status of the artist, who will be on the ceiling. At the same time, I will experience the inverse experience of putting myself in the role of the spectator, going down to the ground. The public will be invited or even induced to answer these questions, in an attempt to subvert the traditional relationship between artist, work and spectator. These are questions that are intended to cause surprises, reflections or discomfort.

How do the sculptures and photographs that are also part of the exhibition space relate to the performance presented?

The sculptures deal with forms obtained through spaces and interventions of my own body in marble or simulacra of my organs. Going beyond the material, the photos are records of my contact with the work, revealing to the viewer the intimacy of the interaction between creator and creation.

Performance, in turn, brings the third remaining element of my research: the spectator – to this relationship that subverts the artist/work/spectator triangle. Thus, firstly, we have an artist developing his work, secondly, an artist understanding his work, and thirdly, an artist opening up his work to be explored by the public.

You’ve been researching the body as an instrument for a long time, how did you start to approach these questions in art? What sparked your interest in this type of approach?

In the 1990s, during the process of making my sculptures, the body automatically became part of them in such a way that I couldn’t distinguish the supports. This approach came about in an intrinsically natural way. My body was understood by me as an extension of my sculptures and later other supports such as video and installation were also incorporated into this research of detachment from the support. The color white, however, is fundamental in the propagation of my medium-indifferent art.
What is it like to work with performance in Brazil? How is this type of work received and understood in the national scenario/market?

The idea of ​​creating this site-specific installation for Paralelo focuses on bringing the public closer to this real-time action called performance. The concept of performance is still slightly unknown to the general public not connected to contemporary art, who have a vague perception of the subject. I decided, with the exhibition curator, to integrate all the supports I work with for an interactive experience. Galeria Paralelo, in turn, decided to encourage this more experimental aspect of contemporary creation, aiming to open people’s understanding to immaterial works.