Juliana Cerqueira Leite
5 October - 7 November 2017
TJ Boulting is delighted to present BLOOM, the second solo show by Brazilian/American sculptor Juliana Cerqueira Leite with the gallery. The exhibition includes new sculpture, digital collage and video, all of which explore the steady stream of recent online news that focuses on humanitarian and environmental crises. These works examine the –often exasperated– gesticulations of individual subjects interviewed by the news as representatives of a certain crisis: a refugee, a soldier, a doctor or aid worker. Gesticulations by politicians and reporters, as they attempt to explain complex issues to news viewers, are also explored in these works. Leite aims
to create a permanent register of these bodily means of extending language and the ephemeral articulations that shape and are shaped by the geopolitical landscape.
Leite’s sculptural and photographic work is an investigation into agency, performed through the human body’s relationship to matter and occupation of space. For this exhibition Leite produced hundreds of online-news screenshots, which were then used to produce a new video and digital collages, and an index of gesticulations. To produce the sculptures for this exhibition Leite re-performed gesticulations from this index, moving her hands and arms within a clay-filled box. The clay-filled mold/box is a recurring tool in Leite’s practice. It is described by the artist as being “like a dense camera: the box is filled with wet clay, this is then imprinted with movements forming a negative space that is then ‘processed’ into sculptures. The sculptures are then excavated from the box, which is re loaded with the same clay so it can be re-imprinted and the process repeated.” The sculptures are cast by pouring pigmented layers of hard, gypsum-based resin into the clay, filling the negative spaces made by the artist’s gesticulating arms and hands. The colour variations used in these casts create bands reminiscent of geological strata – suggesting a temporal scale beyond the individual human. Reminiscent of how Flemmish floral bouquet paintings reflected early globalization, BLOOM reflects the contemporary advanced stages of globalization where events take on the scale of hyperobjects. The individual perspectives that shape global narratives are represented in multiplied and sometimes conflicting stories, evolving and changing, on a twenty-four hour feed.
The title of each sculpture is a short paragraph collaged from the statements that were originally emphasized by
the individuals making these gesticulations.
The new digital collages and video are both composed of screenshots from these same news sources such as Al
Jazeera, Reuters, AP, Vice, BBC. These works isolate and capture the gesticulations of interview subjects while
exploring the codified visual formats and time-frames employed by online news outlets for reporting on humanitarian