Catarina de Oliveira & Camilla Wills

In residence: January 10 – 22, 2012

Catarina de Oliveira and Camilla Wills are two visual artists who met through the Fine Art Master program at the Piet Zwart Institute, NL. Their collaboration was initiated with a project at the Bonheur Theatre, Rotterdam in April 2011, which generated a series of dialogues concerning common interests in performance, theatre and dance. Their collaborative proposal is born from a shared and intuitive enthusiasm for the work of psychoanalyst and cultural critic Suely Rolnik (Brazil). In particular a very personal essay she wrote concerning Deleuze, in which she recalls a singing lesson she took in Paris in 1978. Rolnik relocated to Paris during 1970 to escape the damaging Brazilian military regime. During the lesson in ‘78 she sung a Brazilian folk song and in her singing, through the material timbre of her voice, she experienced a kind of bodily revelation and liberation. Until that moment her desire for life had been anesthetized by the brutality of the regime, in that moment she discovered the material power of one’s voice against a horror that had infiltrated the workings of her private body and life. In this essay Rolnik internalizes and localizes Deleuzian theory and in doing so renders it radically available and accessible.

De Oliveira and Wills intend to produce a work in the form of a diptych. Wills produces videos and performances highlighting the possibilities inherent in personal, domestic routines coupled with the radicalism of making mystical, desirous gestures while not knowing what we are becoming. Rolnik also refers to Anthropophagy – the possibility for consuming, internalizing and fusing fragments of erudite, popular, and mass cultures, without any reverence for dominant hierarchies – De Oliveira is interested in investigating their manifestation in corporeal memory and how cultural cannibalism can become a machine for new ideas.

Catarina de Oliveira’s practice incorporates: theatre plays; dance pieces; videos and audio plays, often being a tangent to these different mediums. Through the use of stylized imagery, restrained formal compositions and fragmented narratives, her artworks seek to investigate how different power structures operate and their manifestations through social and political rituals, along with inquiring how certain narratives or myths became part of a community’s history. She has been addressing such issues mostly by rendering the directorial input visible and by creating narratives that while existing in the symbolic and allegorical realms, escape dialectical or linear forms of engaging with time and history. Catarina is a Portuguese artist born in 1984 currently taking a Master of Fine Art at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. She was recently awarded the Huygens Scholarship by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and was selected by Serralves Foundation for the BESrevelação 2011 production grant and exhibition.

Understanding the grammar and layout of literature as an emotional field, Camilla Wills uses her preoccupation with the irrepressible affectivity of literary language to produce performances, installation, video and written work. The work posits the sensory properties of a phenomenological body perceiving the material world coupled with an errant, energetic subjectivity. A loose cadence of ideas materializes, and these associative patterns and chains of metaphors are embraced on the premise that they render experience legible, that recognizability converts into cognition. Camilla is a British artist born in 1985. She completed the Master of Fine Art at the Piet Zwart Institute in 2011, which concluded with an exhibition and catalogue in collaboration with the curator Ellen Blumenstein. She co-edits Dauerwelle, a journal for artists’ writing, found texts and extended editorial with Jacob Blandy.

Images from the Open Rehearsal