– Autumn/Winter 2017

Realism in the Work of Maria Thereza Alves

Paloma Checa-Gismero

Maria Thereza Alves, Jimmie as a Flower, 1983–84, photographic print, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist

Maria Thereza

  1. See 2 Bienal de La Habana (exh. cat.), La Habana: Centro de Arte Wifredo Lam, 1986. Comparisons to the width of the artist’s body were provided by the artist during an interview with the author.

  2. Rachel Weiss, Making Art Global (Part 1): The Third Havana Biennial 1989, London: Afterall Books, 2011, p.22.

  3. Ibid., p.23.

  4. Conversation with the artist, March 2017.

  5. See Andrea Giunta, Vanguardia, internacionalismo y política. Arte argentino en los años sesenta, Buenos Aires: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 2008, p.269.

  6. Conversation with the artist, March 2017.

  7. Active in New York City between 1983–85, Artists Call was a coalition of over 700 artists, curators and writers that organised multiple exhibitions and events against the US government’s involvement in José Napoleón Duarte’s violent presidency in El Salvador.

  8. Conversation with the artist, March 2017.

  9. Alves has participated in the Bienal de São Paulo (2010 and 2016), the Taipei Biennial (2012), Manifesta 7 in Trento (2009), dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), the Paris Triennale (2012), the Berlin Biennale (2014), the Lyon Biennale (2009) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004).

  10. For example, in the 2010 Bienal de São Paulo she showed Dicionário Krenak Português / Português Krenak (2010), a dictionary translating between the Krenak language, spoken in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, and Portuguese, which also featured in the project Centro de Pesquisa da Normalidade Brasileira (Bureau for Research into Brazilian Normality, 2010), co-authored with Jimmie Durham.

  11. Paloma Checa-Gismero, ‘On the Return of a Lake’, FIELD: A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism, issue 1, Spring 2015, pp.281–88.

  12. See the artist’s own narrative account of the project Namé stá, available on her website at http://www.mariatherezaalves.org/assets/files/name-sta_7pp_web.pdf (last accessed on 1 April 2017).

  13. See, for example, Jochen Voltz et al., Incerteza Viva, 32 Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo: Fundacion Bienal de São Paulo, 2016. Katia Sepúlveda showed two works at the exhibition: Dispositivo doméstico (Domestic Device, 2007–2012/2016) and Feminismo Mapuche (Mapuche Feminism, 2016). Carolina Caycedo showed her research project A Gente Rio–Be Dammed (A Gente Rio–Barrado seja, 2016).

  14. Lisette Lagnado, ‘Anthropophagy as Cultural Strategy: The 24th Bienal de São Paulo’, in L. Lagnado and Pablo Lafuente (ed.), Cultural Anthropophagy: The 24th Bienal de São Paulo 1998, London: Afterall Books, 2015, p.31.

  15. Examples of this intention include the 1998 edition of the Bienal de São Paulo, for example, which sought to revisit the legacy of poet Oswald de Andrade’s ‘Manifesto antropófago'o(‘Anthropophagite Manifesto', 1928), and the 2016 edition, which attempted to transcend former efforts to make visible the multiple epistemic and social traditions currently alive in contemporary Brazil.

  16. Peter Bürger, Theory of the Avant-Garde (trans. Michael Shaw), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

  17. See Suzanne Lacy, Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, Seattle: Bay Press, 1994.

  18. See Grant H. Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.