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The work of Celina Portella (Rio de Janeiro, 1977) permeates the universe of the plastic arts and dance. This artist establishes dialogs among architecture, cinema, performance and finally sculpture, characterizing her research in the fields of representation of the body and its relationship with space. Frequently using her own body as a subject for experiments, Celina blends almost craft-like practices in vídeos, photographs or photo-objects that challenge the characteristics of each support and the perceptions of the observer.
She has been nominated for prizes such as the Bolsa ICCO/SP-Arte 2016; Prêmio de Aquisição EFG Bank & Art-Nexus, at SP-Arte (2015) and the Prêmio Pipa (2013 and 2017). She was awarded prizes at Casa Wabi/Salón Acme Residency in Oaxaca, México; at the XX Bienal Internacional de Artes Visuales de Santa Cruz in Bolivia (2016) and at the II Concurso de Videoarte da Fundaj in Recife, Brasil (2008).
She was awarded fellowships under the following Programs: Programa de Estímulo à Criação, Experimentação e Pesquisa Artística SEC + Faperj (2016); the I Programa de Fomento à Cultura Carioca em Artes Visuais (2013); the Bolsa de Apoio à Pesquisa e Criação Artística by the State Culture Bureau (2012), and the Núcleo de Arte e Tecnologia da EAV Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro (2010).
She completed artistic residencies at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa; the Center International d'Accueil et d'Échanges des Récollets in Paris; the LABMIS at the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo; and the Galeria Kiosko in Santa Cruz de La Sierra, Bolivia, among other.
She has implemented projects and displayed her works at many institutions and galleries in Brazil and abroad, including: SESC São Paulo, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, EAV Parque Lage, Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, MAC Santiago de Chile, Uj Art Gallery, Caixa Cultural, Zipper Galeria, Galeria Kiosko, A Gentil Carioca. Noteworthy among the group shows in which she has participated: Histórias da Dança at MASP São Paulo (2020); Sal n Acme 08 | Mexico City (2020); Frestas Trienal de Artes at SESC Sorocaba (2017); III Mostra do Programa de Exposições Centro Cultural São Paulo (2012) and the Nova Arte Nova exhibition at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (2009). As a dancer and co-creator, she has worked with choreographers Lia Rodrigues e João Saldanha.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Celina currently lives in São Paulo. She studied design at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) in Rio de Janeiro and graduated in plastic arts from the Université Paris VIII.

Novel of Oppression
digital print and oil.
40 x 30 cm (each) 2018.

Any resemblance to reality is no coincidence. In “Photo Novel of Oppression” (2018), Celina Portella mixes photography and movement. The female figure is progressively cornered by a dense black mass. The ax grows, spreads, fills the space. The end result is the oppression of the female body, which is left to a small fraction of the scene. Any resemblance to reality is no coincidence.
A sum of opposing forces seems to underpin Celina Portella's process. The idea of an equation suggested by the works, however, lead to a definitive final result.

As a common denominator in the series, the black paint that invades the images gains distinct forms and functions: sometimes it appears as a dense and distorted volume; sometimes as a rigid drawing of geometric structures.

The body of the artist also assumes a variety of roles, intercalating situations of expansion and containment when interacting with the black mass painted on the photos.
In this final equation, there is no single possible equilibrium.
In the “Cut” series, Celina materializes the action represented on the images, using media such as photography, video and canvas. The artist body, interacting with its own image, cuts the paper from what it is made, editing the representation of the self and creating a connection between image and matter.

Celina Portella problematizes the cycle of icon-crises, idolatry and hatred, dogmatism and irrationality, experienced today in Brazil: forests and collections burnt by negligence and permissiveness; destruction and environmental crime, aggravated by the multiplication of social conflicts.
In the manoeuvres here produced by Celina Portella, in the crisis produced by her iconoclastic sledgehammer, her sacrificial knife and her controlled fire, the question arises: is there a system capable of resisting the viral nature of the political action of art and its instruments?

Digital print and acrylic.
110 x 82.5 cm 2018

Cut 3
Cropped phot.
133 x 93 x 5 cm 2019

Cut 1
Cropped phot.
133 x 93 x 5 cm 2019

Cut 2
Cropped phot.
133 x 93 x 5 cm 2019

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