The Climb is Also The Fall, 2011, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, USA
The Climb is Also the Fall, 2011
Juliana Cerqueira Leite's exhibition, The climb is also the fall, is concerned with embodiment. The large organic forms of her sculptures explore the history of figurative art and how volition can be expressed in form. The process of making the work is physically demanding: the hollows and masses within the pieces are a direct imprint of the artist's physical engagement with her materials, and mark the artist's physical proportions.
Leite's drawings, photographic works, videos and performance pieces also explore movement and physicality. Throughout her practice Leite makes use of repetitive actions, such as digging, falling and crawling. Basic movements, combined with ideas of possession, separation, material resistance and memory ultimately produce a body of work that presents new physical forms.
"I consider myself primarily a sculptor. I find this is the medium that allows me to question most effectively how human being and the human form are represented. My works are investigations into will, the body’s physical translation of will, and the material world. Letting the body guide and limit the process of creating form I am seeking a way of breaking the visual syntax of figurative representation approaching a broader image of physical being. Most of my recent work originates from simple yet physically demanding experiments that aim to delineate notions of space, possession or direction as associated with the body. Works often start from action schemes such as ‘move up’ or ‘pull in,’ reflecting our relationship to physical reality. Influenced by 18th-20th century scientific concepts and recent popular science I also make use of photography, drawing, and video to destabilize perceptions of the body’s form, function and physical boundaries. I feel that it is important to question the status quo between artist and his/her tools and materials. Therefore, I have begun working without tools, using traditional sculpture materials like plaster and clay in large, challenging volumes that I find counteract their innate formlessness." - Juliana Cerqueira Leite