Climb is one in a series of Juliana Cerqueria Leite’s works that is made using a unique fabrication process. The form is a cast of the space left in a large volume of clay which the artist has physically climbed upwards through. The clay itself is inserted within a sonotube, an industrial strength cardboard used for casting concrete. The repetitive movements of her barely-clothed body creates a document of this movement in the clay, leaving decipherable impressions of her elbows, knees, feet and toes on the sculpture’s exterior. This simple, yet physically demanding process preserves a specific sequence of actions and the surprisingly uniform circumference of the lower part of the column, cast in sonotube as testament to the fabrication process, illustrates the demanding restrictions imposed on the artist’s body by the density of clay. This, in part, is Cerqueira Leite’s dispute against the notion that physical matter is subservient to the will of mankind. The powerfully visceral configuration of material eschews notions of space, time and traditional form; its gravity-defying structure is essentially a negative space made positive by the artist’s actions. With Climb, Cerqueira Leite enacts an investigation into limitations, the body and our relationship with matter. The organic-looking mass is a challenge to formal definitions of figuration and prompts a reconsideration of how our bodies might communicate our histories if free from the constraints of physics. - (Cass Sculpture Foundation)
Art Basel Miami Beach, December, 2012, Miami, U.S.A.