Work-in-progress grant
Untitled | photography | 2001

A ‘technical and critical vocabulary of philosophy’ defines an illusion as a situation in which an observer is being deceived and is aware of this; a hallucination is when an observer is being deceived but does not know it, but do not know, believing it to be real. Dora contrasts painting as illusion and photography as hallucination, but at the same time describes both as misleading images. She uses mainly images of idyllic landscapes in which she intervenes with physical aggressions and color changes. She aims to show a relation between the utopia of the search for paradise and the disenchantment of confronting the reality of Brazil. Two representations of the same image (a photograph of a landscape and a photograph of a painting of the same landscape) may be viewed alternately by the lateral motion of the observer (vertical grooves), thus reminding us of the formation of the cinematographic image. The image depicted is a coastal landscape, emphasizing the passive character of contemplation of the observer in relation to art, at the same time as it calls for their active physical involvement to view the work as a whole. As a contemporary artist, she reflects clashes between art and politics, or painting and photography, translating her perplexity in relation to the future seen from the conditions of the present. The insinuation of violence as the principal feature of our society is revealed by fatal encounters between man and nature, or man and society. Displacements of supports and languages reinforce the idea of boundary. Dora discusses the conditions of art in apprehending the world in light of the transformations and impossibilities of art history. Her colors allude to the presence of the individual and technological world through a distant chromatics of the matrices of nature, closer to pop and kitsch in its resemblance to neon.

Dora Longo Bahia

Visual artist, with a master’s degree in visual poetics from USP; graduated in art education at FAAP. Dora Longo Bahia works with contrasts she detects in everyday life. She is attuned with “garage culture” which deals with error viscerally, and is a rocker who likes sounds (she has more than one band) and is also professor of the discipline – art, not rock. Rock music – particularly punk rock and its “do it yourself” ethic – is a key aspect of Dora. “I like garage culture and rock because the language is easier, less pretentious, it has an energy that tries to do a lot from very little. There is no virtuosity, not everything has to be impeccable, ” she says.