September 23, 2021 — January 9, 2022
Opening September 23: Swinguerra
Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca
Kunsthall Stavanger is proud to present Swinguerra by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, which will be presented as a large-scale video installation.
Swinguerra, a film that was originally commissioned for the Pavilion of Brazil for the 58th Venice Biennale, takes its title from swingueira, a popular dance movement in the Northeast of Brazil, but with a slight spelling twist that makes the word end in guerra, meaning war. Wagner and de Burca’s work delves into expressions of popular culture in contemporary Brazil, and their complex relationship to race, gender, identity, conflict, and desire. The artists work collaboratively with the performers, deciding all aspects of the final work collectively.
Their extensive research process takes them into the heart of communities that are often considered “marginal,” where they observe the intense discipline involved in collective dance competitions. Swinguerra focuses on three distinct dance styles from the periphery of Recife, swingueira, brega funk and passinho da maloca, represented by the dance groups Cia. Extremo, Grupo La Máfia, and Bonde do Passinho/As do Passinho S.A.
Swinguerra provides a deep and empathic view of contemporary Brazilian culture, at a moment of significant political and social tension. The predominantly black bodies on the screen (many of nonbinary gender) are in many ways the focus of contemporary disputes around visibility, entitlement, and self-representation in Brazil, as elsewhere. The staging of the dance competition allows for a fluid and complex exploration of gender, race, power, masculinity and conflict in ways that are often frowned upon in mainstream cultural spaces.
In common with their former films, the artists are careful not to moralize their subjects or inscribe their works into a preestablished discourse or theory. Instead, they work alongside their subjects in a horizontal and respectful relationship, sharing an understanding of the complexities of contemporary self-representation and awareness.
With Eduarda Lemos, Clara Santos, Diego Matarazzo, Edlys Rodrigues, Henrique Sena (MC Fininho), Clara Damaceno e/and Kinha do Tamburete
Executive Producers Dora Amorim, Thais Vidal
Cinematographer Pedro Sotero
Art Director André Antônio
Choreographers Diego Matarazzo, Clara Santos, Edlys Rodrigues, Henrique Sena (MC Fininho)
Editor Eduardo Serrano
Colourist Pablo Nóbrega (DubColor)
Sound Recordists Lucas Caminha, Catharine Pimentel
Sound Design Nicolau Domingues, Caio Domingues
Original Soundtrack Carlos Sá
Working collaboratively since 2011, Wagner & de Burca have shown in exhibitions, biennials and film festivals, including: The 33rd, 35th Panorama de Arte Brasileira, the 32nd São Paulo Biennial, the 20th Festival de Arte Contemporânea Sesc VideoBrasil (São Paulo, Brazil); the 36th EVA International (Limerick, Ireland); the 5th Skulptur Projekte (Münster, Germany); the 67th, 68th, 69th Berlin International Film Festival (Germany); and the 72nd Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland). Last year they took part in Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial. In 2019, Wagner & de Burca represented Brazil at the 58th Venice Biennial, and unveiled solo presentations at Jumex Museum (Mexico City, Mexico) and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland). Their work can be found in collections such as: The Institute for Contemporary Art (Boston, USA), Kadist Art Foundation (France), Museu de Arte de São Paulo (Masp) and Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) (São Paulo, Brazil), Pérez Art Museum, (Miami, USA), and Arts Council of Ireland, among others. The artists are represented by Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.