Questions about women’s day-to-day circa 1976 reverberate on our days in Letícia Parente retrospective show.
Photographs, xerox art, videos and a large-scale installation will be featured at Galeria Jaqueline Martins beginning March 25.
“Take your beauty standards off my body”. The saying on a piece of cardboard was one of the symbols of a 2013 women’s march, but it could just as well have been printed on an artwork by Bahia, Brazil video art pioneer Letícia Parente, who was known for subverting everyday life with her experimentations in the 1970s. Some of her work, including xerox pieces, photographs, videos, and one gigantic installation will be featured in a career retrospective at Galeria Jaqueline Martins from March 25 to May 20.
Forty years after her first solo show at the MAM in Rio de Janeiro, Parente’s large-scale installation piece Medidas will be shown again for the first time – spanning 140 sqm on the gallery’s second floor. Divided up into what she called “stations”, the piece invites visitors to register their body measurements on cards, including body type, blood type, respiratory capacity, and items that confront society’s impositions, especially upon women, plus a “secret measurements” section for more subjective, non-visible questions.
At the time of the first showing, Parente told journalist Roberto Pontual: “I want to initiate actions until they become incorporated and create the shape of the marks of man on his current quest: one of countless strands in his plot. I wish to capture vestiges of our times through quantities, measurements that can be made to transcend themselves so that the imponderable will burst in and make sense or pose questions”.
The 1976 visitor cards will also be on show in an area devoted to documentation. “Letícia’s work is timeless, it’s feminist, it’s political, but it’s really about the existential issue”, says gallerist Jaqueline Martins. In her xeroxes, videos, and photographs, Parente also exposes the problematic of the body and subjectivity. “There’s always this attempt, on the part of society, to tell you how to dress, how to carry yourself…and this is what Letícia confronts”, adds Letícia’s son André Parente.
The show will include never-before-seen photos André took of his mother in 1975, xerox pieces from the Mulheres and Casas series, and the video Eu armário de mim (1975), among others.
Galeria Jaqueline Martins (press release)