Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Carla Tofano talks to artist & art historian, Iluá Hauck da Silva - Metralla Rosa Ep 14

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and now...let's talk

welcome everyone to Metralla Rosa. I'm here next to Iluá Huack da Silva...Uak...

Hauak...oh my is the pronunciation? Hauck...HAuck...Iluá Hauck da Silva

and it's a great, great pleasure for me... it really means a lot. I particularly

love her visions - clear and beautiful and the way she combines this very

conceptual approach and at the same time, everything she does look so figurative.

I love the fact that in general she's quite into...I would say obsessed...about the

human condition - the body, the anatomy...

but everything she does also relates to history...

...christianity, theology, it is quite interesting.

Um... Iluá ...I'm not gonna say that surname again! Is from Brazil, but she has been

living in Britain for most of her life probably more time...more years in Britain... the UK than in Brazil, but we could say that she is as equally Brazilian as British.

Thank you so much for joining us today, it's really really a great pleasure - likewise -

And one of the things I would like to start talking with you about

is that ability you have to bring something very universal


magnificent, in terms of meaning

to things really peculiar, particular and not necessarily...coming from the detail

to the something that you feel in any of your artworks

especially when...when you try to depict a little bit...what it means. Why...

why a heart? Why a brain? Why a piece of body?

Has it always been like that? Yeah I've always been interested in how we can

communicate broader existential concepts through particular signifiers

and of course the signifiers for the human condition are...well...

some of them are body parts and

internal organs so...

why a heart? Well, it could be any particular heart

but nevertheless, it functions as a signifier for love, for life...we always

associate the image of the heart with love...

Um...or the image of the brain with

rationality, intelligence or rational intelligence...

...Um...and in other instances...

So, for example my piece "Despair", which has very agonised

- body expression - you know, the tense body expression

well, it is a particular body...

but nevertheless it communicates and articulates an idea of despair as a

general human experience, so anyone could identify with that sentiment

even though it is a particular body.

So...the connection with human parts

has always been there? It's not something that came after your graduation from...

...Goldsmiths school? Can you, can you remember your first artwork or your

first memory related with you being an artist?

Yes I can..., I actually remember things from when I was a toddler, like say,

when I was 18 months old...and I remember when I first started interacting with images and

art books, you know, I was very very little first experience of producing

a work of art that dealt, you know, with this kind of particular and commenting

broader, I was still in school and you know it's...

... I was learning dadaism at the time and I just, you know, of course, did a very

Duchampian ready made thing and, you know,all these bits and bobs of, you know,

consumerist society and it was a comment, commentary on capitalism as a whole, so

they, you know, commenting on the bigger picture through the particular,

yes, it's been with me for a long time, yeah. It's always been there. is interesting especially with this Art Residency that you did for

The Optometrist College of London in London because there, you actually really

had the opportunity to not just go in from the particular, the peculiar, to the universal,

but also through your own story even if you... we were talking before this interview started,

you have been using your own body, not because you are

being especially obsessed about the self reference, but more because you are the

model you have most at hand... that case I feel that the case of

"Pathos Ocularis", the exhibition that is actually still

at the College Optometrists, the Museum here in London,

you had the opportunity to go a

real self reference, in a way that was more emotional than any time before

Well it's interesting that you refer to it as an opportunity...thank you for that!

Thank you for was actually the most difficult

body of work I've ever produced... I'm...I don't make work about myself, you know,

as you said, I do use my body as a model for my work...A) because I have worked

as a life model...I... you know...the poses that I require are painful you're

holding poses that require so much tension - Like that "Despair" sculpture we were...

You have to stay still. It's painful, it's tiring and I'm the artist, I know I will

be dedicated and committed to holding that pose for as long as it's necessary

now it has nothing to do with my emotional history or my pain whereas the

body of work for The College of Optometrists didn't

require me to...but the whole history...

...meant that it made sense for me to

explore my own eye pathology because it was just

it was just a "non coincidence" so

I had a very serious illness, you know, I mean it could have killed me

before modern day medicine, I would have died... - yeah -

...and then I was..I got the residency...

...within half an hour of starting my residency, starting the research at their

library, I came across an article in a book, written by the very doctor who

looked after me, about the pathology I had. And I told the curator Neil:

"Oh, look at this coincidence" and "this is what I had", and he was the one who said,

"Wow, this is very unusual, it's a very unusual illness in this day and age, why don't you explore that?"

...and, it sounds all exciting and good on the face of it,

but really, when it came to making the work

- No, I can imagine - as I say well it was really really difficult

- How horrid it was - Exactly! Really, really horrible!

um...I know, I had never actually, just like, cried in my studio trying to make work, and also

...I was kind of resisting it a lot, you know... But, I think that was an opportunity because...because...

okay, I understand that you are an artist that seems to relate to very rational

processes very, very...edgy kind of mental process, and in that sense you have

everything under control...and it's actually your territory...

...but in this opportunity you have to bring that to the body and feel it, and I think that's

why that artwork is so, so beautiful and so amazing, especially the

Santa Lucia that - by the way you told me that today is - Santa Lucia's Day, yes -

Wow, and I don't believe in really has to mean something...but we will

get there...Please, because we are talking here about things that you know, I know

but not everyone let's start to talk...tell this story from the beginning.

Ok. In 2015 you had an illness...ok...I wanted to...

...if you can, if you can remember, how was the moment you started feeling ill and

which ones were the symptoms? Well, so actually it started as a normal flu... January...and...and...I wouldn't get better and then I actually got worse

and I had a, you know, severe ear was really, really, painful

um and then...I got better, but not entirely better, and I was not well

and I had all this pains in my we're now in March and I was still not well... day I woke up and I would see everything double with this eye - wow -

so I'm seeing two glasses, two hands, everything...and I thought, well, if this persists I'm going to

Moorfields Hospital...and so I did. Was it super scary?

Um... Or where you fine?

It wasn''s scary...but...I knew I was really not well...

...and there were things that, know um...people don't understand also when you're ill because I

didn't look very ill...I'm like, you know, it's not like I looked

But you knew? Yes, and there were things that, say, for example...oh... know...lets go and do this thing...that, I don't know, in Richmond Park...

...and I was like, actually I'm not well enough

to go for a long

So instinctively you were very connected with your illness? Instinctively...yeah...

Yeah I knew that it was just like... What were your symptoms?

Yeah...and at they ask you, so...'re serious, you're not lying? You really see everything double? I say 'yes'

I they're like, ' need to go up to neurology like,

You said in another interview that the nurse actually asked you, 'Are you being serious?'

you have so many you know cool crazy little that don't go there just to be

just to have the attention that they need yeah maybe may exalt but how can

you make something like that well I I also I guess because for the medically

started themselves know if they are all of us of a face a case that is really

unusual he's also a shock for them for them now see medica we start fooling oh

my god you know cuz he's not nice for everyone even for them you know if they

see that someone is suffering for something really serious but anyway so

so I went to the neurology did all these tests and a few days later I got a call

from the hospital well you days late a few days later

so all those days you were watching things doubled and you know there are

other complications in a process but I'll keep it in a sense you know you

think you never sound very tragic or drama you don't make a drama out of it

but it was well it was um I don't don't see why I would make a tells you Barrett

their stories there are different approaches and goals but these people

that they really make everything sounds even bigger than the EDS and in your

case it is very big and you try to always minimize

them the importance is that a characteristic of your personality

definitely in that situation you were acting very very in an English way okay

yes I well also Venus is trying to keep the conversation clear because really

then the expression of of the emotional pain is a network even though I know I

realize also that the works by right heart is in a sense that you know my my

self portraits are some Lucy and which communicates you know the unis so you

know have a double I and I you know I look up quite ridiculous and so you look

at it and I didn't make myself look pretty in that work no particularly ill

either you know there's no sense of drama this it's kind of um there's an

age to esto he says in that event well and also you know I a little bit funny

let's face it you know I look a bit a bit hilarious well I think so you know I

didn't try and make myself look particularly I did idealized um but

that's because I'm the reason for defaulting to some Lucy it's because

before we had medication and say you would go and pray for some Lucy and you

had an image of some Lucy and pray for her and you would be in this position

where you realize that whatever it is that you're going through it's not as

bad as martyrdom mm-hmm you know you haven't had your eyes gorged out um and

you're gonna be cured so there's that in that sense that you know the the image

of the Saints mitigates and Suzi's your suffering and that was the thing

although it's and and the owners that are hard actually

it was getting to a stage that can be related to the I models you know so the

pathologist they are represented in museum because no one really or very

rarely like in my case someone ends up with an infection in their skull yeah I

was on a break off is spread into my brain how do you know

after being so close to them you have been studying this why a lot you know

why that happened to you yeah I'm sexually in itself yes so my

immune system was very very low and also the shape of my skull means that the

infection could travel from my ear into my head and the bone got affected the

base of this equation here okay yeah here here mean alright alright I thought

it was yeah yeah yeah and animals only brink I was praying to my brain so

that's really advanced and in this kind of instance that really you know there

was no going back before antibiotics but coming back to to the moment you were

called by the neurologist and they said no you need to come to the hospital

because you you need a special care a special attention what happened there so

I you know they said all we we think you have a bit of a ice Co inflammation and

in my father is a doctor and I thought oh there they are really toning this now

he that pack a bag come to the hostel you you need to be hostile for a few

days and it might just be a bit of an inflammation as I well that's very in

Congress but okay so I did and he was funny because I had to tell my father

that I was being hospitalized basically you know I delete into hospital

and he couldn't quite believe it he couldn't say goodbye to me and I was

like I need to go home and so I knew I was not well I knew that

it was potentially really quite serious but okay so you you were told that it

could be it could end up in a variation but it didn't yes yeah so basically I

was told that if after 12 hours of intravenous antibiotics and steroids the

internal swelling didn't come down then they would have to cut my mouse void

which is this bone here open and operate on my head and but luckily the

medication worked really really well and that was not necessary and if you

remember your self prayin in the moment because I know maybe for choice we don't

choose to it but sometimes when under real pressure or when we are very scared

my mom was a naughty remember myself Preah it's interesting you mentioned

that because you know the way I wasn't brought up a strict Catholic my parents

my father was not not practicing Catholic well being a scientist also

kind of but then my grandparents in like my grandmother's you know I had to pray

with it you know so I didn't have to but you know the mother there was like okay

we pray in the morning with prayin evening that's something that that we

did and is you know this interesting kind of you default to thoughts of

prayer and you know inevitably you know in moments like that you you do inquire

about you know the divine and the miracle but not you know not just in in

moments of you know tragedy but also say when you know I rock climbing and you

know there's nothing like you know top of a mountain food getting

the feeling of the miracle you do feel that new a sense of the divine

possibility so it's interesting that both in moments of kind of uh and

exacerbated you know happiness happiness or an intense experience in nature or

you know which is the outer world you know the expansion you know the infinity

of everything of you know the universe or diametrically the opposite in that

moment of personal tragedy and the journey inwards you know the connection

is virtually the same you know the the questioning of you know the divine the

miracle of existence both call into question

and so definitely is one of the reasons here why also working with some Lucy

yeah without very very pertinent yeah it means something for your life a moment

of before and after in terms of that realization of we as human beings in the

last era have been quiet disconnected with the idea of divinity because we

have made our our paths on earth related more with them what we can see what we

can experience what we can hold what we can understand and slowly slowly I feel

we have been culturally believing that part of of even of knowledge beside do

you feel in that regard before and after no I don't feel before and after in that

regard because I guess being an artist and being very sensitive to everything

around and inside me those you know always is

kind of very heightened sense of making the most of life making the most of

everything never taking anything for granted you seen beauty in everything

that's that's always been the case I've never not considered things divine you

know I think you know what always a difference a you know between a flower

in a table you know still could be equally sacred equally divine or not

depending on point of view but because I was he I was ill for a whole year I

finally only totally recovered was already like February 2016 that's the

moment you started working again pretty much I worked very late so I

actually even almost ill I did manage to exhibit I didn't really yeah Wow somehow

Wow yeah um I was I was ill I was not well I was very debilitated and you know

working on kind of a battery saving vote

but I guess I can't live without making art or being emotionally engaged so I

don't know I just it happened a miracle yeah exactly and um but yes I finally

managed to really go back to work was you know in 2016 and so then for the

after then yeah there was things that was very shy and very hesitant about you

know going forwards with and I was like come on you know you you could have died

just hmm you know if you hear I know it's a no but right to the place where

you want to exhibit it asks oh there was another

so you it was enough those a change it will never change those that the impulse

you know that the kind of getting a lift from the bad experience that was just

like come on go for it yeah you know you have nothing to lose

kind of thing so yeah I has that brought good results I guess yeah

so let's talk about this exhibition pathos ocularis yes and how the

collection with the college started how did it say that happened so what

happened was that um a friend of mine mm-hmm is an occasional art collector

Adrienne William and he's a fabulous ghost Jimmy a and he asking me to make

an ice sculpture for him after he'd seen some of my work and he he knew about

your situation oh yeah we were we were very good friend

friends yeah exactly he was when I made you yeah and I said you you know funny

enough eyes require a glass technique that I haven't studied so I know how to

cast the glass and fuse glass and other things but eyes required technique that

I unfortunately haven't I studied so I assume listen I need to do some research

and think how I can work away around this your favorites you could do some

research well but but also I am very pedantic

about techniques you know technical problems I love Rizzoli titled technical

problems I spent ages I could have guessed it's just so pleasurable right

okay there is an existing show philosophical concepts with but then

they're all these you know yeah my new technical problems and I adore meditate

see on Kevin resolving them you know how is the mood gonna be made what materials

this the the the dialogue between the concepts and the technique and the

technical problems and materials so I leave your visa so I when I said to my

friend said well there is the museum the British art association museum I'm gonna

go and look at your what they have and he said I want to come with you because

the reason why he want to scope just because he loves noise so we went

together and because the museum was open to the public for visitations any time

it's required that you book an appointment with the curator and so we

did and the curator knew asked us why you here and Adrian said oh it was an

artist and I've commissioned her to make me a glass eye and we're here to do some

research and you said oh really she's an artist that's interesting you here to do

research that evening Neil was very excited about our visit I'm curious I'm

curious yes and so he asked me um could you show

me some of your work and I did and it was one of the most reassuring into some

lovely things that's ever happened that you know virtually immediately he said

Oh would you like to exhibit here like that just like that just you know really

nice really instantaneous natural response to see my work it was really

validating I cannot deny it was very wonderful and of course you know within

half second I said yes

and that also gave me gave you an amazing opportunity I guess because your

dad is a doctor um you you you were into this yes the complicated that um but so

you know the fact that then you appointed me to be to be out to see

residents and I went on this journey researching eye health in general and

then you know my own pathology and crazy Lourdes work in relation to my dad funny

you should mention it and so um even don't you know as a child I'm I I was

given basically paper and pencils here you go

you don't have anyone to look after you interchange your Sony entertainer and

and also um you know where he lived it was very close to the Medical Center

where he worked so you know literally next door sources basically we are even

about cell power you know we're told no II thought she burned very small town

okay in a countryside near - yeah yeah about an hour way for about half a day

sorry so I'm so actually very safe you know so

you've got could it just be like Anna that was a beautifully square in front

of the Medical Center this tree so I was either you know climbing the trees or

drawing and my dad's consultation room was filled up with my drawings so you

would have a thought and my dad would have be a bit more supportive of my work

and of my choices being an artist but no no really yeah I think I recently I

think he didn't get it um things for quite some time so for example and I

started making the glass hearts to begin with you know I saw I just drawing a lot

of a lot of hearts and as I you know showed the heart saying is that the

arteries wrong yeah he was watching it is from from anatolia right what well it

isn't it isn't because the reality is I knew I in special to having spent

quite a bit of time at the pathology Museum looking a specimens and drawing

you know pickled hearts and internal organs are like external features the

inner and then you know so is it what is a human knows what are human lips that's

amazing you know completely different and the same with hearts or lungs or

kidneys every ones are different which make them even interesting beautiful but

so there's no right or wrong unless of course if you draw a heart

that ends up looking like so when I started making the test pieces for the

eyes on a platter for salut see you know the the body of work and again Mina my

dad looks for the you know I sent him a picture and he stopped saying oh

interesting or what does he mean or you know just the eyes are looking in

different directions why but he of the fact that you so readily comments or

something that is not good instead of asking why have you made it like that

it's a away that's why and I always succeed you had chosen to be a doctor he

said in men see you wouldn't know these are not represented in the right way

lady for him he wanted you to the other people I think I think so yeah but I

think that's probably because from a very young age I really engage it with

his medical books with medicine general thank you well you can have those things

from a very different perspective probably the it was it because I

statically was super attractive to you yeah I was always very very visual or

always engaged you know observe things around me but both artistically

and technically so I'm for example my grandmother had quite a lot of glass

objects vases or just objects both from what I know and from Bohemia

so where is now Czech Republic and Poland and the other children and family

okay they would look at it but then you know go away

and I want to just stay with those objects how is it made

how can you get this green how do you get this gold I was just really being

engaging with her how was this made yeah process behind what is it um and also

why is there this woman with this owl and this half moon what does he mean one

thing but yes exactly yeah so the then query again already

you know how it's made so the technique and the concept what does it mean it was

I don't know I don't know why I was just always engaged with it yeah to try to

understand the why behind yeah do you always go from theory theory theory

process to making things or sometimes not run sometimes no so for example do

some works you know so I think what happen is that because I've always you

know life to studying art language and history history and philosophy were my

favorite subject in school I just just kind of you know overloading

myself with readings in looking at art III realize it's very very privileged to

have had you put in us to come to Europe twice as a teenager and of course in

very intense experiences and you of course else and aloof were the van ho ho

museum the British Museum at the age of 14 these right

experiences or at least to me what it was and and so when I started having

ideas for works of art sometimes you know a nice finished piece would just

flash in my mind and the process of understanding the idea I had also

actually retrospective yeah yeah so that was very much the case of the sculpture

made juicer you know just I had visited the Art Nouveau exhibition at the

Victoria and Albert Museum which was in the back in 1999 about three or four

times bought to catalogue couldn't have enough of reading and looking at that

catalog and some other books I'm you know after spending ages surrounding

myself with books and I was at home in a minute what if I make I mean Jews that

with this twist yeah if they already know they don't being a woman with a

snaky hair it's a brain but the curls of the brain

yeah Andy's said that that's the bring I saw up there at them at the cemetery

yeah yeah okay because okay yeah so um so and then that

was an idea that you know I had an idea and then I started tracing back the

history of why well I ended up having the idea and so it was completely

subconscious in everything that had been stored in my mind eventually could you

please explain that brain because yeah of course I think it's worth it yeah

totally the exhibition by the way was um with three or four pieces no more than

that so yeah I was three and then two drawings that hadn't been printed on

canvas yeah in a very special place and not many people have had the privilege

to exhibit there it was amazing so it was an exhibition

of my body of work called minor tools of the mind the body of work is not

finished yet because they sculptures are expensive to make they're difficult to

make Boreas expensive materials um and so the idea is that each time I manage

to finish another piece I'll then have another show in the same thread in the

same place um but the interesting process was that okay so me Jesus was

the first idea I had you know wasn't part of a body of work yet

I was 23 when I had the idea 20 years ago

and um and then from that idea I start having you know the idea or ideas that

would connect that and then I realized what this all very really related to the

darkest aspects of the human condition you know or aspects of the human

condition that we wrestle with so evil vanity superficiality or suffering and

Medusa so why I ended up having this idea in particular so of course you know

I grew up with a lot of Greek mythology my my dad used to read the Greek

mythology to me when I was little going to museums you know having visited the

British Museum Duluth when all the classical sculptures and had read so

much but then also all the glass you know the glass that I looked at as a

child and then I you know my connection exactly yes actually yes because there

was a very specific reason that I want that Medusa's to be in England at a time

and I was really really into the turn-of-the-century sort of Thunder

Sackler and I wrote essays and my bachelor's degree and then my

citation for my BAE was all about the turn of the century Vienna Freud Clint

had bit Nietzsche and Marla as well so I realized then my sculpture Medusa

it's very Freudian he's a very Freudian table totally yes yes yes I can see that

and very to meet Jesus head essay by Freud and I was actually obviously

really enjoying this process of inner cat okay everything I know about the

maze and then how the you know people in the 19th century were rethinking the

myth and the whole idea of the phone fatale but also psychology insights or

analyses that you know I was emerging as a science and so presenting Medusa as

just a human brain of course first of all well is it a

woman even though I kept the name made juicer which is a feminine name but you

look at the image and how would you know it's a female brain or male brain you're

gone no human exactly and and I'll tell you something about the work I to never

really get a chance to talk about it but so when I had the idea for this work I

had not studied glass making yet that's something you learn I learned here and

because I began having so many ideas in glass for glass then I went on to study

glass making and I made juicer was really difficult technically it was

really really difficult from the moment I began studying glass

it took me five years to understand I had to do to do to to make that piece oh

my god that that Wow yeah so you know of course crystals kind of this bizarre

coherence that um a piece which is a shape for brains

requires a lot of brain power exactly you're very

brainy process please understand what a hard to do because if you think of the

shape of the brain with a brain stem on top how do you put that on the plinks it

doesn't sit on a plane so eventually and also if you understand

casting whether it's metal or glass you know the lost wax process is it's cold

you need to end up with a negative mode with an aperture for you to either pour

the metal in or have the glass going in the mode to the cast but if you think of

the shape of the brain the only possible aperture that you

could have an AMOLED home to be the tiny bit of the brain steam you need to turn

the piece upside down and how and how did you keep the shape well well how do

you have the air going out so the the glass could go in and how could you see

inside the boat that the mold is perfect because you have all these make skin

texture inside the mold you know how could you even know that you've directs

the mold properly I mean it's just like how am I going to do this and eventually

no like actually after having made all the work cuz I actually I need to do

three open modes so you can cast three parts separate any and and then one you

can see what you're doing for each one of the modes be if anything goes wrong

we sort of you know wasting an enormous amount of materials material you can

which is expended by yes and also to fire you it all because you would need a

huge queue you take a long time is it longer than the other materials yes it

is because brass yeah because you need to cool down glass at a much slower rate

then or ceramics okay so if that had been

cast in one piece gosh that would have been more to two months maybe two and a

half months to keep the temperature even throughout the piece well because

they're so you know the discrepancy of a size so you know where the brain is that

it's large as it's quite long but the narrow switches are the kind of little

tail of the brain stem that would have been a lot hotter then I barely yeah so

casting it as a three-part also ensured that it would need to be a much easier

process but then finally to display it because I then had the idea of creating

and lost planes and the brain stem is inside the glass pane and the brain has

on top of the Pink's so then you can see the brainstem encased in the plains and

the brain Hoffs on the planks so resolving that the whole technicality

the whole process of course I really enjoyed it

I mostly thought about the sculpture every day really from yeah every day I

would you say if I was just not know doing anything I'm gonna do this

how do is this like quite obsessive in a way but really pleasure did you made

yourself then this structure where it was this play no so you're not no I'm

not higher you know people make that because you know requires glue and also

is very very heavy which is the other good reason for having needed in three

parts because I what is that our hollow it belongs to a collector a little long

full exercise so two collector they are not disclosed even their gender but they

prefer no need to not mention anything is not say anything it is doing my

bedroom but it's old and it's they're safe for

whenever they have an opportunity to come and collect

it I I guess it's a reminder a good reminder for yourself to know what you

are able to do if you want well yes but also I realized that you

know um if I wanted to be able to control make things myself I have to you

know a scale down because it's very very heavy I can't I cannot lift that piece

on my own I cannot even I can barely lift one of the hearts of the brain it's

because these purely easily it's led crystal glass is really heavy

um hence me then you know for a just thinking what is it that I can make in

my kill cuz my kiln is tiny like this and so the idea for the glass heart

which I can 100% make myself cuz me Jesus had to send to another artist who

has you know enormous kilns in a industrial scale is to do but luckily

he's a wonderful wonderful man calling Reid lovely person and he casts the work

for me the the hearts have been exhibited in Boston yes they have yes so

the hearts of actually a very interesting thing that happened with

them because I is still testing you know phase enough test piece I normally don't

do test pieces you said go for this yeah because I do

how can't afford to make a test piece if I'm a juicer you can't can't afford yes

you know makeup it has to be possible actually Bauer's that whoa whoa I

remember when I may it was like right okay ready to go ready to make this

finally and then I an exhibition of / - she appeared out of the blue and I

exhibited it you know it's finalizing making of it anyway knees

straight to the National Trust said somehow

in Hackney and from there it went straight to the Sava gardens in Windsor

out in a part of the great Windsor Park and I thought oh my god how I've pulled

this off that is the first cast no test piece and then going to prestigious

institutions you know heritage is facing with the National Trust and then the the

Crown Estate so I remember being excited really really happy but I was I'm worn

by worried because it's like I realize how how edgy that had been because if at

any stage anything had gone wrong I would have missed out on those two

exhibitions and in all these years that you have been living in London and how

has been your connection with Brazil have you still been in touch how do you

do you go there frequently how many exhibitions have you had the

opportunity to so I used to go to Brazil more often in the beginning because a

ticket to Brazil was a lot cheaper and and I I did do modeling in Brazil and I

still have some like contracts I remember my my grandmother had power

of attorney to sign contracts for me and a couple of TV ads that I did and you

know sometimes your contract expires but then they want to run the the advert

again yeah so you're gonna try and renew the contracts and you get some more

money so I actually had to do put it to go to presume more often and then that

dried out of course I moved here and then tickets to Brazil went up from 500

quid to me 2,000 pounds and I actually have only been to Brazil once in the

last seven years so I went once in 2017

three years ago and before they are turned in 2013 and before that I were

coming three times in 2011 not much not much at all I would like to go more

I would like to exhibit more in Brazil but hey I'm out of the loop but you did

an exhibition in Brazil you had an exhibition in Brazil which

one was it so I have done only one solo show in Brazil which was called

Pruneyard as you possibly know geez which means handfuls of possibilities

because I basically ie no use what I could do because of my work was here how

could I could transport work to Brazil so you know was what what was possible

yeah and I really enjoy doing that show was beautiful little Museum in Eva

cheaper Museo poverty Lima and I converted : your house and yeah I did

what I could what's it can you describe the piece he presented ai ai ai exhibit

you know I actually filled up virtually the whole museum which was like you know

quite impressive considering I don't have a studio in Brazil so I exhibited a

series called Mount decadence which is this velvet stretched on canvases and I

made all this abstract glass shapes with gold leaf in the middle so I exhibited

that body of work and also flagellation and sillies were exhibited there and

then this one room was this big installation piece called boutique

opposed very much drawing on the Praxiteles sculpture of venus of needles

or aphrodite of knidos cos as Greece so I'm in leaders in ancient Greece there

was a temple for Aphrodite and also table temple doneto and the courtesans

would worship Aphrodite and women had two children family women

would worship the meta-god fertility and art historians argue that the first

fetishized image of a woman is that is that even though the original does not

survive but there is a whole tradition of the protocol was to become known as

the boutique opposed or the Venus pudica you know so the real Venus of my life

for example is made reference from the right camera Dinah exactly which is the

classic pose that Venus referred are just covering themselves as a male oh

look her sees them bathing and they cover up yeah so that is a fetish

because of course no women would pose -

so that because they said is that contradiction between I don't want to be

seen but please watch at me well which is they are yeah but also the viewer

point of view knowing that the the woman does not want to be seen but they want

they don't want to do but actually want to look but they don't want want to see

everything except their wanting to see but know what to do then show me

everything exactly you know because it means that you don't deserve my way yeah

so all my publications very nice thing yeah exactly

and I'm not the first artist to have explored this idea tossed a Dean made

films of women bathe but what a Buddha passed about what made very conceptual

what you did is that there's actually not a there's not a no value exactly

describe this the she's a yes so my take on it was that very Duchamp Ian

ready-made and I know there's been a big wide drainpipes so because they're

widening your kind of alluded to marble but so they're completely no sculpted

there's no curves no drapery no identity no reversal of you know

forget nothing you know is that kind of a nothingness

but then I put laddered holdups on them and you dissociate laddered holdups

we've actually quite you know slutty sexuality or analyzed corrupt seeds

because their decadence and so the this juxtaposition of this kind of

nothingness with that sense of this corrupt to the bun Alliance that's what

I wanted to do and loads of them because you know the weather is a Venus Protocol

and Aphrodite each one is one carved woman that attention to detail labored

in whereas loads of pillars in of course you know the pillars and there's a

reference to the phallic symbol but in loads of them that you know is it's

nothing in particular so kind of how desires sexuality can be

sub analyzed and trivialized so which kind of stems back to this you know

fetishized know rio idealized sexuality or if the

subject the present in many of your interest in recent work yeah there's

been a shift of interesting you can't we move on but I would say from that period

is still in that frame of mind my piece veins of vanity and say it is still a

lot to that which you know I wanted to make a work of art that was about vanity

the history of representations of vanity you know Vani toss or two gorgeous

paintings of beautiful luxurious objects to criticize vanity but what they do

that they trigger in the viewer a desire to or

those objects even if it's communicated to you that that is sinful or bad or

superficial you know if you want to look at it from a secular point of view

oh that's superficial or from a Christian point of view that is sinful

and Anna for what what is it that I do that is vain very superficial that could

be cool set a scene but I can't resist doing it yeah and at the time I loved

wearing corsets like you know it could go to the supermarket more than of

course because they famously you have a very very tiny way anyway yeah so good

good motherfucker sense yeah exactly so that it led me to model to various

because those contradictions should be inside of us and we should embrace them

well it's actually good to have them because that that leaves you openly to

questions instead of making barriers and thinking that this shouldn't go with

these or that that doesn't make sense if you believe this or that and I think you

know contradictions are inherent to humans maybe I don't know in order to be

human maybe you need to be here a contradictory being but somehow the more

you I understand that we should be very consistent with our thinking morals and

ethics consistency is interests is important

but also a setting contradictions and and describing the tension between

things it's not just opening opens your point of view but foreign artists ease

it's an amazing territory because you don't have to answer the geese questions

you just have to show the tension and yes you don't actually have to provide

an answer yes I just put it out put the dash

and I think I definitely agree with you in a sense that you know recognizing

your own force unfolds is important stuff pointing your finger and just

criticizing everybody yeah and that's something that's actually you understand

from where they come why they don't go

and it's interesting cuz actually you know I I think I've managed to exhaust

that because nowadays the thought of putting on a course so it makes me time

just yes sometimes just sort of opening yeah I course it drawer and I have you

know 10 12 of them just also love very good

concentrate constricting or very very

sure yeah it's not the problem is just pussy them on exactly they don't need to

remain stationed in one of them I just I just really don't have patience for that

any more than with the attention that is another thing the attention you get they

so unwelcome and it's very interesting how people completely change their

behavior in relation to you any wearing of course it first of all they think

they can touch you yeah drives me up the wall in Ursa fight

I'm not a dog I'm not a toy but now because I'm

wearing a corset yes I have become an object and you think you can touch me

worst of all are women women all of a sudden it's like they just really want

to grab you in touch it is actually really interesting and as an exercise on

how is that giving permission to leave your that's what it is exactly and so

for example I'm courses that I really like special that I delight scholar I

will not wear out because it happened that you know and I shouldn't be in the

Leighton House Museum where you would think that you would be safe and people

just grabbing me and their hands a dirty and is a co corset get your hand so I

was gonna ask that get whatever the more a valuable piece of course you have the

in touch are they really special no this my my precious corsets are all made by

my friend 20ms she's German she lives in Berlin and she's an old old friend of

model for homage with her first catalog and she's wonderful she's a dear friend

I'm I'm her her pieces are very special up to me and this one be particular they

made I guess their indemnity measure you know she knows my dog body perfectly new

I don't even mean to get my measure sheet she knows and and but so as an

exercise you know testing how people change their behavior in relation to me

when I'm wearing a corset I have one either an old horse or a cheap course it

out and just like relax let's see what happens and inevitably people just like

touchy and it's just like it doesn't cross their mind that they're being rude

invasive they are harassing me but it's just as a test

let's do you see what happens yeah um I'm it's horrific

it's absolutely horrendous well that can give you an idea for a future have you

ever made a person as a sculpture oh yes so these things about a surgery I have

ever seen no they're hard you haven't really so um

I wanted to make a comment on vanity and actually study horse making when I had

the idea for for the piece because we had to choose a piece of text and make a

sculpture from the piece of text and I chose a census in one of my favorite

books which says the violence of your beauty and the title of an exhibition

held at the ICA in 1998 called die young stay pretty Oh amazing sounds

great I saw either violence of your beauty world courses are violent bully

beautiful die young say pretty well less wearing a

courses and um the sculpture is a cast of my back after I'd be wearing a corset

for oh yeah yes yes of course and it has all the

inventing yeah yeah and yeah yeah and it's interesting because of course

people don't understand the process of casting have said oh but it's a very

subtle is caring well that's because it's been a process of negatives and

positives all the way to glass that kind of tone down the indenting but if you

were to see my back when I took the takes it off its brutalized by the

corsets so yeah so that's you know in relation to the vanity and of course as

you're saying new your internal floor so um the inventing on my skin of course

that that brutality is a signifier for the destructiveness of vanity as an in

in word it was this analogy or you know psychological flourish whatever you want

to call it um but because the glass is so transparent and the way it's being

polished this hyper polished on the front perfection and the back is

sandblast so you can't see through the back where all the inventing is but you

can see perfectly through the front so you see it's an internal thing because

you don't see the back you see the marks of the few design from my bag I've

internalized that you see through the body and it's precisely that what I

wanted this is their wider called veins or vanity or something happens inside

it's conceptually wrong I'm how many hours were you wearing the corset to do

that how was the process so actually put that there was actually a kind of a test

piece for that and I just want to coerce it for a few hours and the cast did

about wealth for a series of reasons there was different glass and kiln but

so when I finally got II right because the process of mold making and taking

the cast of my back because he if y'all was lying on a floor

the mold mixture would flatten my point but if he's standing then the board

makes his runs down your body so you had to be able to kind of a 60 45 degrees

actually at 45 degree position I've told ya when and finally you know

that the whole piece was done and I was actually really happy with everything

because I was you know that piece I feel I really have managed to be coherent

with the concepts the piece in itself but also the properties of the material

okay because he cannot be casting bronze it will not work it can not be casting

so it actually has to be glass it has to be that kind of there's no if rationale

the Sierra Mist so you have coherent yeah exactly so there's the coherence of

the concept the form and the material so I managed to stay true to the material

to experiments of the material and the form and the concepts and that's

actually quite difficult to achieve yes you know so you're very proud of that

piece of art out that one yeah I think in terms of coherence its its

consistence man yeah yeah and you just finished we were talking when you

arrived here to - Mateus Rosa hey you just finished your master not finished

master but the glasses of the lectures of these master in theology and art or

it what was it Christianity announced so the name of the program is Christianity

in the arts but yes but it is a theology and the urns yes I would like to link

these with Brazil because somehow even if many of you

pieces are super clean I statically very clean very minimal there's also in all

of them these Victorian feeling this baroque kind of sensation but I don't

know why they always have brought that to me and I never in my life have been

in a more barak place and received and when I went to Brazil I went everywhere

bailing my nose procedure I like by bringing your bail in I said but well I

I went to all these amazing churches as I said before my mom was always an

answer is but she was Italian Bravo Catholic and she always had a

fascination for the Anthropology stick approach to and also they are also about

him Christianity yeah I think you know how can anyone not be enfold by Barack

is that base 30 and also the rituals the daily well absolutely I mean you know

Christian Catholic liturgy you know processions churches you know Oh

gorgeous yes very very seductive exactly

especially if you are attracted by all these layers of meanings because seeing

is always there but then also you are always defying saying how is it has to

be with your with your childhood and your Brazilian memories this fascination

of you for Christianity and yeah absolutely

um you know just yeah growing up in Brazil with all in a Catholic Church do

you think it would be different if you weren't being from there yeah

yeah and but I realized that a lot of my work I just kept kind of a bit you know

say things vanity it's really minimal

but then I realize that the corset marks in it all of a sudden becomes it's

eerily Boracay I get it totally and also is this you know that battle between

yeah between the external and internal way good and the bad or Eversole about

in the soul yeah yeah and I think my piece flagellation is one that you know

is the least minimal one and I did you know I worked with an Italian jeweler

danila such as Natalie it's amazing and of course being Italian here she got the

concept straightaway issue you know she really enjoyed collaborating with me and

we designed you know the rosaries to be you know that kind of sumptuous Catholic

you know in designing of the handle of the width you know the metalwork

perfectly matches the metalwork of the beads the crystal bead covers is it full

of similarities full yet my nudes a very Catholic

you know Gothic you want gothic from the Renaissance and Baroque but you know

each minut Dietl that have in your meaning in a work and that is very very

seductive to the point that you don't see what the work is about to begin with

you just seem fooled by the aesthetics of it yeah and then you take a step back

and and engage with what it is and that happens a lot you know with with works

of art in in churches in Brazil at least that's how I engage with Olivia you have

this initialled whoa oh and they

sometimes even have overwhelming sensation of God do you understand this

yes exactly but I think the the initial being whoa not understanding I he you

know that that is the different tension you know best the desired effects that

you have to kind of lose control and then it slowly start making sense of

things are you somehow all the time testing the intelligence of your viewers

you come from places so complex your train of thought is beautiful its

logical ease it's engaging is seductive but feels like okay the result okay here

is the result let's see if you get it I feel like all the time kind of tasted by

some of your beautiful pieces is that the intention yes oh I know I wouldn't

be so how does him testing beans I wasn't saying it like that but say I'm

yes I'm challenging the energy that they are very wore off I'm offering a

challenge you know just not offering something Hey look at this and you know

and I cannot deny that out of every experience I've had in my life

there's nothing more rewarding then seeing people getting get used or get

any oh yeah guessing is I'm getting lost in units of the engage with it so

something that I have done quite a lot say I envied you late to my own shows so

I don't say I'm gonna I'm the artists I just sit there quietly as if I'm working

at the execution don't say anything so for Phi then get a chance to observe

people interesting the work how they engage with the work and it's really

interesting is of course I've seen people just look at it and don't get it

and just like whatever there was but times

when I see people getting it and you see the moment when they look and they get

it and they go this is nothing like that but there's the most genuine and amazing

feedback I can ever happiness for you well yes because that tells me that I

have managed not only to offer but I've mention actually give something to the

viewer you know the page the viewer has seen something that you know viewer has

had an experience a positive or interesting experience by engaging with

my work so I'll tell you a couple of moments one with me Jesus um Cemetery

that this woman walks in she starts walking around me Jesus she's looking

and she's looking it and then she saw this makes him first please she's just

seeing a brain and then she please should read the title it's just totally

saying and you go oh my god that's brilliant

oh my god that's genius who's made this so lovely because it's going from kind

of and then did you have a conversation yeah yeah I did and that was really

lovely and the other one was despair and only of the blur and um so yes I that

was a more than one person and the particularly two people and one of them

were like tune on the artist almost made these I

said yeah I I do know the artists is bought why did you ask him because you

know when I fell to despair that's exactly why I felt and it was really

interesting because they do see that you know that represents what I felt

yeah well yes but that's what I felt yeah that's bad yeah

it's capturing the bad that's though that meant so much to me

you know so happy that they they could you know it's kind of like they could

see outside themselves what was inside themselves that all of a sudden that was

that was there in front of them and they could see they are feeling in a

different way projected on a work so of course I love it when um my work

provides a scent you know a moment of enlightenment yeah for someone so you

know I don't want to say that I test people think that but I can see why

because yes they are kind of little you know challenges there for the viewer and

you actually smile and have the sinister face on the other hand so there has the

moment senior with modulation there was a very funny exhibited in Brazil and is

very pious Catholic wearing mercy any but she that you were the same at the

same the same sure the solo show yeah okay you have to come back yeah I do

yeah I had ordered shows I mean group shows that the scholarship that you do

to another someone yeah and anyway so you know vessel of a piece that really

you know questions penance as a form of you know potential or you know attempt

on Redemption and you know it's also a poker scene is all this you know there's

all this theological questions and this woman girl she looks to the war he goes

he's being long that I don't use one of the rosaries so you know of course I can

understand what because the rosaries are really beautiful

and of course you want you your honor that you want anyone on them so I told

me you want to think about what this work is about

yes please so you know that's but that tells me a lot that belongs to someone

is one of them me I made Soo and yes

I'm always curious about that because for example now with the pathos ocularis

those pieces because you did are not residents yeah how long was it the

resident so the residency started in January the exhibition runs until May

twenty twenty and the work yes people can buy the work

people can buy the world that was I was curious to know if when you do a

residency with an institution for example of that category they were the

owners of the pieces you could use during the residence no that's not

knowing that no in this case nothing much there could be cases where you know

you do a residency in and they buy the work or they they pay you to make the

work but not annoying business but of course the work is not up for sale at

the museum because it's a museum is not a commercial art gallery but if anyone

wants to buy the work once the show is over yeah

and did it force you to somehow you look at the the conceptual tension that comes

from the fact that you are thinking about the view being an artist thinking

about the part of your body that allows you to see a things when what makes an

artist an artist is what they see how can they see what they see it's also of

course process that involves many other organs of your body but let's say that

the I have a very important significance not only as an icon of

that that sense of is there is the window your soul is what people see of

you and time they can bring you through the eye you can read the world through

the eye and also because it's related with all that situation that you suffer

in 2015 did it make you to think that oh my god I'm not here by a casualty yes so

I'm what maybe first thinks that illness my eyesight has not been the same and

that's something I actually I struggled with quite a lot so now I have you know

two pairs of glasses and you know that's a drawing so you know this is why I have

sunglasses yes do you always make things yeah the prospect of the tier rating

eyesight is is very scary and upsetting because I was looking at things yes

that's what I do and in fact is one of the pieces that I made for the

optometrist Museum it's a rare iconography of salu so I

made three pieces inspired by her and one piece is that she has eyes in a

place of this deimata moons of Christ and of course this enormous you know not

just physical sight but insights in a war you see your mind is enlightened no

Santa Moochie of course her name is lights so he's not just about what you

physically see but how you interpret and take in what you see but of course you

can interpret and digest things if you can't see properly yeah so yes of course

that's been what sort of for forefront of of my thoughts any project in the

future that you would like to share with all of us and so I think for the time

being really is just finishing my great so be you know involved in writing

a long citation and I have loads of ideas you know because the course has

been very very inspiring so yeah there'll be loads of new projects once

I've finished DMA but for now is just writing is mainly writing and that is

the essay dissertation is it about so what I am hoping to write about is how

female artists have engaged with the sacred but analytical narratives good

good luck thank you I'm not going to pronounce your surname because I'm not

gonna be told off again and I'm sure I haven't got it but thank you so much for

accepting this invitation it's been a pleasure and I we wish you the best of

luck thank you ever so much to you thank you so much

The Description of Carla Tofano talks to artist & art historian, Iluá Hauck da Silva - Metralla Rosa Ep 14