Cristiano Lenhardt | Brazil
Artist. He switches back and forth between public actions and the intimacy of drawing and engraving processes. His work questions the commonly accepted boundaries of reality, critically confronting them with other possibilities of existence. In this confrontation, he sets out to reenchant the viewer’s senses, particularly vision. His work is composed of myriad textual, visual and sound elements, arranged into videos, writings, drawings, objects, and installations. Cristiano Lenhardt graduated in Fine Arts from the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil, in the year 2000, and continued his studies at Torreão, an independent art space in Porto Alegre, from 2001 to 2003. In the 2000s, alongside other local artists, he was a member of the Laranjas collective, active in the alternative scene that grew at different Brazilian capitals with foreign ramifications. He has been featured in group exhibitions including Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil, at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio, 2014); Da próxima vez eu fazia tudo diferente, at Pivô (São Paulo, 2012); Rumos Visuais Itaú Cultural (São Paulo, 2012); Mythologies – Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris, 2011); the 7th Mercosul Visual Arts Bienal (Porto Alegre, 2009); and Constructing Views, at the New Museum (New York, 2010). His solo exhibitions include Matéria Superordinária Abundante, Galeria Amparo (Recife, 2014) and Litomorfose, Galpão Fortes Vilaça (São Paulo, 2014). Over the past few years, Lenhardt took part in several residency programs, including ones at the Phosphorus (São Paulo, 2013), Gasworks (London, 2013) and Made in Mirrors Foundation (Guangzhou, China, 2011). He adopted the city of Recife, Brazil, as his place of residence and work.
The video uses images captured at different sceneries across Brazil to create a continuous city/landscape where fantastic characters enact an allegory of history. Distinct groups coexist in a declassified dimension; Jussaras and Guaracys accept their saints and emanate blessings as they follow their sex-sound impulses. The title underscores the opposition between the superblocks (residential urbanistic units in Brasília that evoke the apex of modernist rationalism) and saci, a folklore character that emerged in the 18th century, and whose image is associated with disorder and irrationality. A poetical reflection about a fantastic utopia born of the failure of modern utopia.