Italian-born, Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino is one of the most significant artists working in Brazil today. Her new exhibition at Camden Arts Centre
includes a site-specific installation and a selection of film works made over the last 30 years.
In a career that spans five decades and a diversity of disciplines and mediums including clay, ink, film and performance, Anna Maria Maiolinos work retains a fundamental concern with creative and destructive processes and with identity; from the subjective to the universal. Conducting a dialogue between opposite yet complementary categories, Maiolinos practice dissolves the dichotomies of inner and outer, self and other, void and matter, ancient and contemporary.
Maiolinos early artistic experiments in Brazil throughout the 1960s and 1970s connect her to key moments of Brazilian art history: the New Figuration Movement, Neo-Concretism, and New Brazilian Objectivity, working alongside respected Brazilian artists such as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica. Later, she was associated with the Neo-Avant-Garde in Europe, particularly in Italy, as well as Minimalism and conceptual art in the United States.
At Camden Arts Centre, Maiolino created an installation using several thousand kilograms of clay. Manually rolling and shaping the clay into hundreds of rolls or balls, the basic shapes used in ceramics, Maiolino refers to everyday tasks, to the individual, society and language; each piece retaining the distinctive marks of its manufacture, but collectively creating an imposing structure.
Over the course of the exhibition the clay will dry and begin to crumble, eventually turning to dust. By labouring to create a work of material impermanence, Maiolino comments on the transience and futility of creation, but also refers to a cycle of renewal, as the clay may be reformed and reused.
The exhibition also includes selected films made by Maiolino dating from the 1970s, amongst them: Y, (1974) and +&- (1999).