Modern Art Oxford presents the first major UK solo exhibition by Cinthia Marcelle (b. 1974, Belo Horizonte, lives and works in São Paulo), one of Brazil’s most significant contemporary artists.
Marcelle is known for her powerful installations, performances, and videos, which question notions of social inequality and hierarchy, and explore themes of occupation, labour, materiality and the environment.
The Family in Disorder (2018) is a new installation commissioned by Modern Art Oxford, comprising two site-responsive and strikingly different structures across separate galleries, which together produce a mirror image of chaos and order.
The work was created using a radical and unconventional process, employed by Marcelle for the first time within this exhibition. Having meticulously built two identical barrier-like structures, each made using equal quantities of natural and industrial materials including brick, chalk, cotton and soil, Marcelle invited six local artists and technicians to destabilise, destroy, and rebuild one of the structures. The process was undertaken over the course of a week, during which time no one other than the invited artists were permitted to enter the space, including Marcelle herself. Destabilising the expectation of creative authorship in favour of collective decision-making, the result is a playful, dramatic and totally unexpected intervention.
Realised in the wake of rising social inequality caused by multiple political and economic crises, both in the artist’s home country of Brazil and across the world, Marcelle considers the exhibition as a space of occupation. The dismantling of the barrier within The Family in Disorder is informed by the collective action of protest movements, which seek to decolonise patriarchal structures.
The Family in Disorder (2018) was made in collaboration with artists Aaron Head, Chris Jackson, Kamila Janska, Andy Owen, Sebastian Thomas and Aline Tima.
It is accompanied by the premiere of Truth or Dare (2018), a video produced from photographs taken by the artist during her recent residency in South Africa.
Cinthia Marcelle is a Brazilian contemporary artist known for her large-scale installations, performances and video works. The artist was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1974, and graduated from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in 1996.
Marcelle has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. The artist’s recent exhibitions include Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machado: Divine Violence (Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago, 2017); Education by Stone (MoMA PS1, 2016); At the Risk of the Real (12th Sharjah Biennial, 2015); and Dust Never Sleeps (Secession, Vienna, 2014). She represented Brazil at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), winning a Special Mention for her solo presentation Hunting Ground. In 2006, she was the recipient of the International Prize for Performance for her work Gray Demonstration (2006), while in 2010 she was awarded the first Future Generation Art Prize. She currently lives and works in São Paulo.