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Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Bienal de Cerveira

DANIELA STEELE - S/Title, mixed media
DANIELA STEELE - S/Title, mixed media

(18.03.2008 , Portugal, Vila Nova de Cerveira )
ONE MAN SHOW 22nd March-03 Mai 2008

The cycle of contemporary art exhibitions has been occurring in the CULTURAL FORUM OF CERVEIRA since January 2008 and it will last until the
opening of XV the Biennial International of Vila Nova de Cerveira in July 2009. Being Cerveira at the border of two European countries and taking advantage
of its geographical, this program privileges the presentation of Portuguese and Galician artists, with 6 annual exhibitions, whose organisers belong
to both countries.
ONE MAN SHOW is the title of a set of simultaneous exhibitions presented as a complement to the program. Different artists were asked the three
same questions: (1. Which idea do this set of works refer to? 2. Concerning the used process, what should be highlighted? 3. How to relate this
proposal to the context of the contemporary art?) Their answers integrate the presentation text of this catalogue.



What, how and why
1. They are close-up pictures of feminine icons, images taken out of magazines from the 60’s and the 70’s, where the woman’s image is used as an
advertising and erotic element. Many of these women are a reference to famous cinema stars, others are representative of the fashion world and of
the epoch’s taste and many of them are anonymous women who have been famous for some time. They are paintings with a graphical appeal and
within a cartoon framing. It is a mixed technique with overlapping of transparent figures, and thus the image becomes three-dimensional and with an
optical movement.
2. The painting is made of overlapping of the same image and with diverse materials. The first image is painted in black and white high contrast on a
coloured plate in acrylic on canvas or on wood. After that, images on polyester nets in painted layers and with watery enamel are strained on the painting
with the help of embroidery frames, always the same images repeatedly…
3. I don’t know. I don’t think about it...

What, how and why
1. With the series Crossed … Territories I intend to cross, that is, intertwine physical spaces (crossed territories and places) with symbolic and cognitive spaces
(crossed), in a pictorial context crowded with icons (heads, animals, vases, crosses, goblets, serpents, etc....) in a contemporary setting.
2. From drawing to painting is a means of expression I have been developing over the time and basically it fits the use of the acrylic materials. Their technical
and plastic characteristics enhance a faster and more adjusted execution to my creative needs.
3. Fauvism? Abstract expressionism? Chromatic abstraction? Trans-vanguard? Which of these aesthetic definitions fits to my work? All of them, I think, even
though I do not assume them directly. They are a mere resource of a work that searches its own ways, the most adjusted, as a way of communicating a vision,
ethical procedures and visual codes of my time and of other times.

What, how and why
1. What was pointed as "style" in my first paintings is now torn apart and it overlaps. Gluing and assemblage are used techniques, action becomes part
of the painting, cultural icons, images I took to myself, as well as remaining portions of objects that belong to my individual or collective memory.
Anguish memory, oppressive memory which will never leave my work, despite the formal transformations developed by the action of time.
2. In the nineties my great format paintings acquired a cloudy and transparent presence, the great glassed, re-covered resin surfaces, allow us to see
what is behind them: the dark, and at the same time, open small spaces tear the texture as a wound and talk about what hides behind the brightness.
And I believe that the punctum lies in these small wounds, this capacity of strangeness that a work can produce, this anguished need of hiding its
remaining portions.
During this decade I also started to work the sculpture and many of the elements which were both formally and conceptually present in my painting,
which can also be found in my recent work. Suffocating and hiding are the basic subjects of these works, starting in the boxes of the nineties until
the prisoner bodies of the present, limited and bound by an overwhelming oppressive space, which is not the measurable physical space but another
one where the experience of the body or of the human being lives.
3. In the Eighties people start talking about post modernity, a concept which raised numerous controversies and introduced for the first time in the
Europe by Jean François Lyotard in "the Post modern Condition" (1979), relating it to the great narratives and to the condition of knowledge. Five
years later, Frederic Jameson publishes Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of the delayed capitalism and from a Marxist analysis situates post modernity
as an unequal development of residual and emergent elements. Though there is no clear rupture, these components coexist as authority or critical
respect in relation to that they represent.
I start to develop my work between these two dates and in a peripheral, isolated place, through a personal language and no doubt within the speeches
that reflexive theoreticians have developed in the centres of power.

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