Anna Bella Geiger (Brazilian, b. 1933) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work excavates the systems governing knowledge and experience. From her early experiments in video to her exploration of bookmaking as an art form, she has produced a groundbreaking body of conceptual work that confronts hegemonic structures, geopolitical dynamics, and the hierarchies of the art world. Geiger began her career in the 1950s as a painter, producing abstract informalist paintings until 1964, when she embarked on a series that referenced the human body, as part of what art critic Mário Pedrosa termed her “visceral phase.” In the late 1960s, her work began to respond to the sociopolitical context of Brazil, which had entered a decades-long dictatorship in 1964. She started to engage with cartography, topography, linguistics, and education, which would become long-term interests, and to explore non-traditional media, including performance, collage, and printmaking, around this time. In the 1970s, she became one of the first artists to experiment with video in Brazil, producing durational and poetic works in public space. Subsequently, in the 1980s and ’90s, she returned to the mediums of painting and sculpture, continuing to experiment with the themes of cartography. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Anna Bella Geiger: Native Brazil/Alien Brazil (2020) at the Museo de Arte de São Paulo; Anna Bella Geiger: Geografía física y humana (2018) at La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Anna Bella Geiger: Maps Under the Sky of Rio de Janeiro (2018) at Zachçeta, National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; and On a Certain Piece of Land (2005) at Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
5:00 PM EST
Please join us for a live online conversation between artist Anna Bella Geiger and art historian Elize Mazadiego on the complex and varied role of mapping in Geiger’s work.
Over five decades, Anna Bella Geiger (Brazilian, b. 1933) has adopted the visual language of cartography to examine international power dynamics, sociopolitical issues, and cultural identity. From her altered Mercator projections to drawings that trace the outline of Brazil’s borders, she has exposed how the legacies of colonization and oppression have shaped everyday life, perception, and the global currents of the art world. While works such as O pão nosso de cada dia (1978) allude to the political residues of colonialism in Latin America, her early videos Passagens 1 and Passagens 2 (both 1974) used the body to convey the subjective aspects of navigating physical space, from perspective to positioning.
This event is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Political/Subjective Maps: Anna Bella Geiger, Magali Lara, Lea Lublin, and Margarita Paksa at the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA). The conversation will take place in English and will be hosted on Zoom, and a recording will be made available online after the event.
Elize Mazadiego is an art historian in modern and contemporary art, with a specialization in Latin American art. She is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Mazadiego's main interests are postwar art practices that intersect with politics, histories of migration, and feminist thought. She is the author of Dematerialization and the Social Materiality of Art: Experimental Forms in Argentina, 1955–1968 (2021), which won the 2022 Best Book Award in Latin American Visual Culture Studies from the Latin American Studies Association Visual Culture Studies Section. She edited the forthcoming volume Charting Space: The Cartographies of Conceptual Art (Manchester University Press, 2023) and guest-edited "Dialogues," on feminist futures, in the journal Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, with Eve Kalyva.