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DELIKATESSEN

What, after all, is the body?  An unfathomable mystery?

 

         Clinging to the notion of its "natural condition", endless attempts have senselessly tried to encompass and unify the body by using ontological, cosmological, theological, and other concepts, all  mechanistically and transcendentally based. 

Using an impressive and impactful  sequence of images, DELIKATESSEN takes a path contrary to these illusory imaginary aggregations. The body, clothed and unclothed ,  is here shorn of the ornaments that have always glorified and harbored it. Verônica Alkmim França exquisitely shows us the  body in all of its splendor,  separated into its parts, organs, and guts,  to be enjoyed as a pure creative expression of art .  Here we are invited to savor what might remain of a framed picture:  a jumble of pieces of human flesh;  the remains of a vestige of humanity;  of its existential emptiness;  the partiality of our lustrous or even banal inner selves.  In a word, here are the tatters that reveal the incompleteness of our being.

 

Everything must go!  Final sale!  The capitalist conception of the body as valued merchandise, the "most beautiful object", the most admired, cultivated, and worshiped.  The body decomposed, dismembered, in lumps of pieces and viscera dumped on a butcher's table.  The posterior, the breast, the tongue – partial hedonistic swellings modeled by the power of the ephemeral and of the most singular fantasies dispersed in a fragmented hollowness.  A disturbing, but also poetic critical metaphor, through which the artist records the baleful end of feminine talents and gifts, degraded as objects of consumption submitted to the self-consumption of the globalized market.

 

What is art?  In this photographic scenario, free of aesthetic coercion and classificatory standards,   Verônica embodies art, taking it to its most remote manifestation.  As a true "visual militant" she remains faithful to her task, and in revealing the surface and interior of the body,   aesthetically reaches the real , where silence and the invisible are allowed.  In this sense, for the artist, creating material for reflection truly appears to be more crucial than merely exhibiting that which is beautiful  within the cloister of conventional rules.  There is the stylistic rigor that runs through all of her work and that has already been presented in earlier striking productions. But in DELIKATESSEN she moves further forward, cannibalistically contemplating the impossibility of the real, pursuing it in the enigmas of the body, where the most singular, the most tempting human food is nothing more than desire incarnate. 

 

Stélio Lage Alves

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DELIKATESSEN was exhibited at the Palacio das Artes in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais (29.01- 25.03.2018), Brazil and also extrapolated the gallery's exhibition space promoting an external intervention displaying scenes from the exhibition on digital panels of the city.

The project was supported by the Clovis Salgado Foundation, Secretary of Culture of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, the PAD Digital Circuit and the swedish institution Konstnärsnämnden - The Swedish Grants Arts Comiteé.

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