Artist of the Two Worlds

Paola Ugolini, Io dico Io – I say I curator, talks about Anna Maria Maiolino's work

By La Galleria Nazionale

In-out (Antropofagia)La Galleria Nazionale

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Anna Maria Maiolino was born in Scalea in Calabria in 1942.

Still a child, she moved with her family first to Venezuela and then in 1960 to Brazil, where she lived through the years of the military regime.

It is this everyday life in a nation oppressed by dictatorship, that contributes to the evolution of her work.

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The research of this Italian-Brazilian artist, one of the most intriguing figures on the contemporary international scene, is characterised by a remarkable freedom of her approach, her language techniques with a vision that always led her to reach beyond the boundaries of more conventional expressions.

By making use of different means of expressions, from performance, to installation to photography, the works of this influential and discreet artist investigate human relationships, her difficulties in expressing herself or problems related to being a woman, crossing the fleeting border between human physicality and corporeality and the intimate and spiritual dimension with her own idealism.

In-out (Antropofagia)La Galleria Nazionale

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In the early 1960s Maiolino joined the first avant-garde groups Nuova Figurazione, infused by that anthropophagous approach that characterises all Brazilian culture, namely the art of cannibalising the cultural models imposed by colonisation.

It is this period that spawned numerous drawings that are reminiscent of humorous cartoons or multi-material works with strong colours performed with various techniques that seem to revisit the Dada or Neo-Dada, however already aware that each sign and each word must necessarily convey a political message

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Brazil, between 1964 and 1984 was devastated by the military dictatorship, and it is precisely during that period that the art of Anna Maria Maiolino, who always speaks of maternal feminine and of an inner world, becomes more hardened and begins to structure her artistic practice, above all, around the performances that she continues to stage today in her seventies, in the museums and galleries that exhibit her art.

"Por um fio (fotopoemacao series) (1976) by Anna Maria MaiolinoLa Galleria Nazionale

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This is a significant fact because precisely around the body, in the bodies and between the bodies that convey human relationships, it becomes easier to decipher the language of this artist, who constantly speaks to us of a bond deeply feminine, extremely proud and courageous in facing male prohibitions and violence.

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Por um fio, (by a thread ) is the title of the photographic work created in 1986 and held by the National Gallery, which shows the artist, her mother and daughter joined by a thread that they hold between their lips. It is a reflection on matrilineality, on memory and on the profound bond, the invisible thread that unites female generations.

Credits: Story

Voice message by Paola Ugolini, Io dico Io – I say I curator.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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