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Cinthia Marcelle's first solo exhibition in New York on view at MoMA PS1
Installation view of Projects 105: Cinthia Marcelle at MoMA PS1, October 23 2016 – March 5, 2017. Photo: Pablo Enriquez, courtesy the artist and MoMA PS1.

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY.- Projects 105: Education by Stone (Educação pela pedra, 2016), is a site-specific installation by Cinthia Marcelle (b. Brazil, 1974). It is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. Marcelle is known for her installations, performances, and videos, which stage forms of labor emptied of productivity. Through this engagement with everyday activities that constitute labor she examines the forms that work can take in a given economic system and its role in the process of producing art.

To create the work presented in MoMA PS1's Duplex Gallery, Marcelle collaborated with a team of installers to lodge 20,000 sticks of chalk into the fissures in the grout of the towering brick walls of the gallery in the former school building. When brick and cement collide with chalk, a material once used to teach students, the result is a fragile and unstable composition that transforms the uneven openings on the gallery walls into allegories of the building’s original function, its repurposing as a museum, and its inevitable decay.

On continuous view in MoMA PS1’s cinema, located in the basement, is Marcelle’s video Leitmotif (2011). Marcelle has worked with video since the beginning of her career, and Leitmotif indicates the extent to which her media works have mirrored the concerns of her site-specific installations. Her subjects have included forms of civic labor practices like firefighting, street cleaning, construction, and political protesting, and, in this video, the work of washing a sidewalk is transformed into an occasion to create a glorious whirlpool of water.

Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1974, Marcelle has exhibited internationally since 2003. She has had solo exhibitions in South America and Europe, and recently participated in the 11th Sharjah Biennial (2015). In 2006, she was the recipient of the International Prize for Performance for her work Gray Demonstration (2006). In 2010, she was awarded The Future Generation Art Prize. Marcelle’s early work was recently the subject of the exhibition “Apodi 69” at Pivô, São Paulo, named for a house that artists shared in Belo Horizonte from 2003 to 2008. Marcelle’s video 475 Volver (2009) was included in EXPO 1 at MoMA PS1 in 2013.

Initiated by MoMA in 1971 as a platform for new and experimental art, the Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series, now on view at both The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, provides a forum for the most urgent international voices in contemporary art.

Organized by Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art.

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