Together Apart: #Frontier
Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, João Vieira moved to the U.S. to pursue his B.F.A. in Visual Media Arts at Emerson College. João values the personal growth he undertook distant from the comfort of his homeland as necessary to understand himself and to forge an independent future. As an immigrant artist, he creates self- reflective investigations, using experimental analog photography and filmmaking to explore concepts of home, heritage and language.
“That which cannot be spoken” – that is cinema to me. When the translation mechanism inside my head fails me, filmmaking becomes my only means of communication. I frame, I record and I remember my own tongue. As an immigrant filmmaker, I reckon the importance of breaking preexisting linguistic and genre barriers that only fit to appease the agents of commerce.
My experience at Together Apart: FRONTIER brought about two important things to me: it reignited my photography work and it challenged how artists communicate with one another. For my final project of the program, my group developed three pieces from a series entitled Meta-poems.
We combined one’s photography, with one’s poetry, with one’s origami making into two dimensional digital collages. By choosing this flat surface as our working space, we aimed to shed light to the repetition of the poem written in 6 different languages (Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Albanian, Mandarin and Italian) scattered throughout the canvas.
These words link the immediate contrast between the black and white urban architecture photography and the soft green origami trees made out of rice paper. I approach this work as a metaphor for a cosmopolitan city that must dwell with finding a balance between nature, culture and language.
1997 | Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Lives and works in California, USA
2019 | B.F.A. Visual Media Arts, Emerson College, USA
2018 | Escudos Series, Impermanent Identities, Practicum Capstone Photography Exhibition at the Huret & Spector Gallery, USA
2018 | Ando Triste sem Você Series, Twelve Faces, Practicum Capstone Photography Exhibition at the Huret & Spector Gallery. USA
2020 |“It Cuts Within”, Around Film Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2019 | “It Cuts Within”, Oaxaca Film Fest, Oaxaca, México
2019 | “It Cuts Within”, La Femme International Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Exhibitions, Together Apart
#3 | FRONTIER: results
Artists in dialogue
Frontiers as geopolitical frontiers, as cultural, biopolitical; frontiers as limits and as separations within the artistic disciplines, frontiers as hegemonic considerations of our bodies and identities…were some of the approaches on FRONTIER general theme in the Together Apart Program #3 session.
Through 4 encounters we collectively and individually created ideas and artworks which explored a non-binary approach of the topic. The participant artists also had the possibility to dialogue with Kristina Borg and Liz Ingram & Bernd Hildebrant, international artists and former ´ace artists-in-residence, invited to present their contributions and explorations in relation to the topic. For this session we also gave priority to moments of peer review or collective feedback and to open discussions which drifted through issues of art and therapy, art and research, participatory art, the complexity of artistic collaboration and how collective practice appears to be a right to claim even more in moments of isolation.
Through different theoretical readings and artistic references, and through the proposals of each of the participant artists, we identified the importance of liminal states, the non-binary, we assumed the difficulty of inhabiting the in-between but also recognized that art practice is what allows us to live in ambiguous states and to constantly raise questions. We also explored other practices as breathing techniques, meditation and knowledge and skills sharing as methods to break through discriminative or isolating frontiers.
Using poetry, film, online performances, video art and the creation of a network for artists through the method of “participatory asset mapping”, the artists from this cohort created in search of commonalities in their migrant’s everyday experiences, resonances among the natural conditions of the places they live in, the links among their identities and psychological researches and in search of practical collaborations to continue working in the future.
DANIELA RUIZ MORENO | curator-in-residence