Lenora de Barros‘ work for the MAM’s glass room establishes a dialogue with Louise Bourgeois‘ Spider, 1996, a work which had been on loan at the museum and was exhibited for about 20 years there. The work relates directly to the museum’s Sculpture Garden in the external area.
The artist unfolds the dialogue she has established with women artists such as Lygia Clark, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, and Méret Oppenheim in a retroactive conversation with Louise Bourgeois. From the memory of the place, from rearview mirrors, images, poems, and sounds, Lenora de Barros builds a giant metal spider that activates a recent past. Besides touching on MAM’s exhibitions history, the installation engages with verbal features (visual and sound) integrating the graphic and the phonetic of the word, which is close to the verbivocovisual dimension invented by the Irish poet James Joyce.
Retromemória [Retromemory], 2022, draws on the concretist tradition and revisits constructivism art from a contemporary point of view. While mam‘s program includes the second generation of modern art and geometric abstraction, Lenora de Barros makes us ponder on the works exhibited at the museum, helping us overcome the losses we suffered and address the present challenges. The images reflected by the mirrors that form the spider are like doubles, representations of the visible world, the fragmented movement of memory, projecting lights and poem syllables across the room. The title of the work is decomposed, and words such as “memory,” “spider,” “tangle” reverberate through the museum, intertwining and producing new meanings.
Although it is outside us, the mirror is that mysterious object by which it helps us to better comprehend ourselves, either by looking inwards or by moving on. As the world speeds up, moving at a high pace requires one to see the blind spots and what lies behind them without looking back at what has already passed. Even though it occasionally seemed that things had gone backward, Retromemória is not about a return to the past, nor is it about nostalgia, rather it is about the construction of memories and stimuli to help us move towards the future.
Curator: Caue Alves
Exhibition period: April 2 to July 3, 2022
Location: São Paulo Museum of Modern Art
Address: Parque Ibirapuera (Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº – Gates 1 and 3)
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5:30 pm)
Phone: (11) 5085-1300
Tickets: R$25.00 in full. Free on Sundays. Prior appointment required.