One of the most notable artists of the past decade, Joana Vasconcelos works in sculpture and installation. She became internationally renowned at the 2005 Venice Biennial, where she presented The Bride (A noiva) and in 2012, she presented a selection of her creations at the Palace of Versailles, making her the first woman to present her work in the Baroque palace. Vasconcelos’ works–some of which very technically complex–move, have sound or light up, issues that the artist resolves in her studio in Lisbon with a large team of collaborators. To create them, Joana Vasconcelos uses a wide variety of materials from everyday life, such as household appliances, tiles, fabrics, artisan ceramics, bottles, medications, urinals, showers, cooking utensils, telephones, cars, or plastic cutlery. With them, she constructs stunning, playful, and direct images that make reference to sociopolitical topics related to consumer, postcolonial, and globalized societies, addressing a variety of subjects that range from immigration to gender violence. Her work always incorporates her sense of humor, also suggesting open as opposed to dogmatic meanings, and approaching, by requiring the participation of the spectator in its interpretation and viewing, the so-called relational aesthetics that emerged at the end of the 1990s. Filled with outside references ranging from Louise Bourgeois to popular culture, from metalworking to fashion, from artisan creation to the most advanced engineering, the main themes of her work cover the subject of identity, in all of its dimensions, viewed through the lens of her condition as a woman and as a Portuguese and European artist.
Curators: Petra Joos and Enrique Juncosa