Laura Lima: The naked magician

Laura Lima (Minas Gerais, 1971) is a Brazilian with a major international reputation. Her career is that of an artist who from an early age decided to question received wisdom and conceive of new paths for art and its role in society.

Lima’s stunning project for the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires took up the entire basement gallery. It consisted of a large workshop that was also the home of a magician who produced drawings, sculptures and new objects from the materials at his disposition. The Naked Magician could be read as a representation of the artistic process in which, in contrast to typical magical practice, the trick or artifice was revealed.

The artwork includes several elements that are typical of the artist’s work: the presence of a human body, its striking and surprising emergence into the space occupied by the visitor, the development and modification of the exhibition as it is happening, the dialogue between artisanal and artistic labour and the exhibition spaces, and the use of objects, among other aspects.

The exhibition was accompanied by a screening of Laura Lima’s first feature film. Entitled Cinema Shadow Second it was made and projected in sequential three hour shots filmed every day over 33 days following a special script – with filming instructions – created by Laura Lima (in collaboration with Emanuel Aragão). The film can thus last for days and even months, like an art exhibition.

Laura Lima (Minas Gerais, 1971) came to the visual arts after graduating in Philosophy from the Universidad Estadual de Río de Janeiro. She then attended the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage in Río de Janeiro. She has taken part in numerous prestigious national and international exhibitions including the 24th and 27th São Paulo Biennial (1998 and 2006); and the 2nd and 3rd Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2001 and 2003). In 2009 she was an adjunct curator for the exhibition Absurdo at the 7th Bienal do Mercosul: Grito e Escuta, Porto Alegre, Brazil.