Video Room: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

12.10.2021 – 2.13.2022
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (Strasbourg, 1965) is a French artist who lives and works between Paris and Rio de Janeiro. DGF’s artistic practice involves multiple disciplines, from immersive installations to personifications in the guise of holograms or performances to film and sound. All different forms her work can take involve literature, philosophy, architecture, as well as fragments that refer to her personal history, among others. The universe of DGF encourages the spectator to go through her work organically, creating a new space-time imaginary—a work in which one is at the same time “a passenger, a reader, a silhouette, an accumulator of perceptions,” as the artist herself points out. DGF has participated in several international exhibitions—group and solo—at the Tate Modern, in London; the Center Pompidou, in Paris; the Venice Biennale; the Bienal de São Paulo; MAM Rio de Janeiro; and Secession, Vienna; among others.

A mix of fiction, documentary and personal memories, the films presented here, Gloria [Glory] (2008), Marquise [Marquee] (2007), and Plages [Beaches] (2001) are not just part of a series of short films articulated around images filmed in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but also show the artist’s close relationship with Brazil. These three works reflect her attentive gaze and interest in a sort of modern architecture, and in an urban landscape that is represented by Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994).

Gloria shows us, ironically, the Paris Square, built in the 1920s and designed with gardens similar to those in the Palace of Versailles. It is considered a jewel of Rio de Janeiro’s Belle Époque, when urban and architectural models came from Paris, although it shows vestiges of a latent and still present colonialism.

Marquise takes as its backdrop the long and winding marquee that connects the five cultural buildings in Ibirapuera Park. Designed in 1951 by Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012), this wide area of more than 27 thousand square meters is a busy “meeting point,” in which DGF intervened during the Bienal de São Paulo (2006), doubling the pilotis that supports the structure.

In Plages, the sequence of images transports us to Copacabana and its famous pavements designed by Burle Marx. Crowds of people dressed in white, celebrating the
arrival of the year 2000, fireworks, thunder and flashes are accompanied by voice-over, talking about and singing memories of a Copacabana that is seen as a place of possibilities.

Video Room: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster is curated by María Inés Rodríguez, adjunct curator of modern and contemporary art, MASP.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, the Video Room program is part of the Brazilian Histories cycle at MASP, and in this first year includes works by Ana Pi, Teto Preto, Regina Vater, Zahy Guajajara and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.