Visual Arts Center presents Luiz Roque: "República" opening day
The Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin presents Luiz Roque: "República," a focused look at the São Paulo-based artist’s practice over the last five years.
The filmic vignettes in "República" transport viewers to far off places - from desert landscapes to lush, green urban spaces to darkened, subterranean dwellings - shifting between utopian dreamscapes and dystopian realities. Utilizing the visual language of the sci-fi thriller and documentary film, Roque’s works address notions of the abject, the human condition, and the increasing capitalization of our bodies.
República (2020), the film from which the exhibition takes its title, centers on the discrimination experienced by immigrants, and specifically members of the LGBTQ+ community. The discomfort and disorientation described by the film’s main character, Marcinha do Corintho, is made manifest by a spiraling camera that creates a disorienting and dizzying effect. Urubu (2020) - a reverse video loop - is a metaphor for the loss of freedom that has punctuated our lives during the pandemic. The video features a bird in infinite flight, soaring between the concrete apartment blocks that are indicative of São Paulo’s architecture. Highlighting the social, geopolitical and environmental shifts that have become defining features of contemporary life, Roque’s work foregrounds issues of gender and identity, sensuality and desire, discrimination and oppression, freedom and loss.
Laden with spectacular imagery, Roque’s films imagine futures defined by multiplicity, radicality, and liberation while speaking to a present mired by legacies of oppression and discrimination.
The exhibition will remain on view through March 27. It will be accompanied by a virtual conversation between Roque, Loïc Le Gall, Director of CAC Passerelle; and MacKenzie Stevens, Director of the VAC, on February 18.