Artist: Camila Sposati
Curated by Bettina Korintenberg, with Marcelo Rezende as a consultant curator
Camila Sposati's exhibition in Berlin represents a renewed voyage into the profound intricacies of sound, the natural world, and the symbiotic interweaving of culture, history, science, and politics.
As her first comprehensive solo exhibition in Germany, Breath Pieces marks a significant milestone for Sposati. One of the intriguing sources that informs Sposati’s work is the anatomical theatre and the profound experience of dissection. Anatomical theatres, born during the European Renaissance in the late 16th century, were specialized lecture halls designed for the meticulous dissection and examination of cadavers. These venues played a pivotal role in advancing medical education and deepening the understanding of the human body. For Sposati, the act of dissection transcends mere historical annotation, becoming a philosophical construct predating the very physicality of these theatres.
Showcasing 15 pieces, a result of her research in different territories and cultures, the exhibition unfolds as a meticulous dissection in itself, with Sposati probing into the annals of history, materials, and elemental forces. The show commences with an exploration into crystals, continues with an artistic metamorphosis inspired by the perpetual blaze of Darvaza (a natural gas crater in Turkmenistan that has been burning continuously since 1971), delves into the anatomy of the anatomical theatre, and crescendos with the instrument series Phonosophia an intricate artistic exploration into the relations of instruments, the player and the sound.
Sposati's emphasis on discerning the intrinsic nature of sound in Phonosophia elevates it beyond a mere auditory and tactile experience, viewing it as an evolutionary mode of communication across generations. The wind instruments of ceramic and Amazonian natural rubber balata with metal mouthpieces central to the second part of the exhibition, undergo a transformative process in Berlin, assuming a character that defies conventional cultural categorizations. They cease to be mere instruments, evolving into enigmatic entities that actively challenge preconceived cultural notions, dictating the terms of engagement with the observer.
Fundamental to Sposati's artistic philosophy is a compelling call for a paradigm shift in the perception of objects, particularly those of ethnographic significance. She contends that objects should not be subject to the passive regulation of the observer, rather, that they themselves should dictate the terms of their observation. This meaningful shift in perspective imparts an active agency to the objects, guiding the observer through clandestine layers of meaning uniquely unveiled within the context of Berlin. "Breath Pieces" invites the viewer to reevaluate the intricate interplay between elements, history and the multifaceted human experience.
About the artist
Camila Sposati is a visual artist and researcher born in São Paulo. She holds a Master's degree in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College London and currently lives in Vienna as a fellow of the Academy of Fine Arts PhD programme. Here works has been shown, among others, at Kunsthalle Wien (2021), Tabakalera, Donostia-San Sebastian (2020), Pivô Arte e Pesquisa, São Paulo (2019), Goethe-Institut São Paulo (2019), BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (2017), 10. Mercosul Biennale, Porto Alegre (2015), CCBB Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2015), 3. Bahia Biennale, Salvador (2014), Musée de la Chasse und de la Nature, Paris (2012).
She published the book Stone Theatre by Revolver (Berlin, 2016). Her work investigates processes of transformation and energy, using methods that often come close to scientific research methodologies. She has transversely examined processes on a microscopic and global scale. In her work, Sposati juxtaposes material and historical processes in order to challenge the material in its official time and its significance. Her Phonosophia instruments address the reversibility of the role of object and subject, which questions who these agents are and what an “object” is. Specifically, musical instruments pay special attention to the importance of the body of the musician and the instrument and how these bodies provoke each other.