Rio de Janeiro, 1977
Celina Portella’s videos, photographs, performances and installations constantly explore and test the relationship between the encounter inside and outside the image. In the situations the artist stages, the body—often her own—stars in a choreography that challenges the limits of the imagetic field. Her works use mechanical and technological devices to induce continuities and mirrorings between real and artificial presences, physical and illusory spaces.
In the photographic series Puxa [Pull] (2016), a miniature Portella is seen pulling on a rope to counterweigh some object outside the frame, generating the illusion of a real balance of forces. In the installation Movimento² [Movement²] (2010), the artist is seen on-screen apparently pushing the monitor along a wall-mounted sliding track. In Nós [Us] (2011), the artist dances with layered, life-sized videos of her own dancing self.
A similar approach was explored in Público [Public], an interactive videoinstallation on-show at this edition of Frestas. When the visitor enters the room, a motion sensor in the darkened room triggers a spotlight trained on the entrant, while a series of monitors fills up with images of people applauding, greeting the exhibition-goer with a standing ovation. The virtual applause seems to reverse the roles normally attributed to the artist and the public by evoking a theater spectacle on the threshold between fiction and reality. It’s a process that enables Portella to devise a new relational field, an intricate game that reconciles and accumulates multiple dimensions.