Joana Vasconcelos (born 8 December 1971), is a Portuguese artist. Her participation in the 2005 edition of the Venice Biennale affirmed her career within the international art circuit with the piece A Noiva (The Bride), a 20 ft. high chandelier made of over 25,000 OB tampons. Moments such as her presence in Japan’s Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, in 2006, led to a notable international career. She was born in Paris, France, but lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.
The nature of Joana Vasconcelos’ creative process is based on the appropriation, decontextualisation and subversion of pre-existent objects and everyday realities. Sculptures and installations, which are revealing of an acute sense of scale and mastery of colour, as well as the recourse to performances and video or photographic records, all combine in the materialization of concepts which challenge the pre-arranged routines of the quotidian. Starting out from ingenious operations of displacement, a reminiscence of the ready-made and the grammars of Nouveau Réalisme and pop, the artist offers us a complicit vision, but one which is at the same time critical of contemporary society and the several features which serve the enunciations of collective identity, especially those that concern the status of women, class distinction or national identity. From this process there derives a speech which is attentive to contemporary idiosyncrasies, where the dichotomies of hand-crafted/industrial, private/public, tradition/modernity and popular culture/erudite culture are imbued with affinities that are apt to renovate the usual fluxes of signification which are characteristic of contemporaneity.
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