Elena Shtromberg (ed.), Sonia Andrade : vídeos, exh. cat., Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, 6 April – 30 May 2010, Rio de Janeiro, Aeroplano, 2010
Situações negativas, Rio de Janeiro Fundação nacional de arte, 20 May – 1 June 1980→
Retrospectiva 1974-1993 : Sonia Andrade, Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, 21 September – 27 November 2011
Brazilian video and mixed media artist.
Out of the three generations of Brazilian video artists that the semiologist Arlindo Machado categorised (in Made in Brasil: Três décadas do vìdeo brasileiro, 2007), Sonia Andrade belongs to the first: the pioneers. In 1974, after studying under Anna Bella Geiger at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, she filmed a series of eight video performances, Sem titulos (“untitled”), which depicted scenes of self-aggression comparable to the works of her European counterparts, particularly Marina Abramović. However, Sem titulos did not quite fall within the scope of feminist ideology. Rather, it dealt with the conflicted and alienating relationships between the artist and the creative process. That same year, she participated in Prospectiva 74 at the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo – the first public exhibition of video art in Brazil – then in the International Biennale, which also took place there in 1977.
In addition to themes of physical and mental violence within the artistic creative process, S. Andrade also developed an interest in television – its consumerist mechanisms, the ideas it conveys, the space it carved out for itself over the years as a device, and also the position it occupies in our society. In 1977, she filmed Untitled (Feijão), devoted to the receivers of televised contents. Her use of video shifted toward the creation of installations, particularly It were but madness now t’impart the skill of spectacular stone (2001). This piece, inspired by John Donne’s poem, Undertaking, consists of a floor covered in raw amethysts and a video projection. Her 2010 installation Get with Child a Mandrake Root included 25 screens, each of which showed footage of a detail of the roots of an old tree, illustrating the myth of the occult and magical properties of the mandrake root, as evoked by J. Donne in another of his poems, Song. Throughout her artistic career, S. Andrade has used video as a creative medium to explore the visual depictions of our inner states of intimacy and ineffability.