Towards a politics of interference: tensions between art, culture and the city in the artistic works of Berna Reale, Bruno Faria and Renata Lucas

Abstract: This thesis aims to investigate the urban imaginaries translated into the artistic interventions of Berna Reale, Bruno Faria and Renata Lucas. To this end, it attempts to answer the following general question: in what ways do the practices of these artists converge in their tension with the urban experience? These artists have come to deal with the city not just as a support, but as the reason why their practices are structured and organized. Considering that the city currently occupies a central place in understanding contemporary life, this unfolded in this thesis into a study of Brazilian contemporary art and urban experience in the 21st century. Based on the need to disconnect urban metanarratives from so-called “global cities”, the work assumes the importance of a study that articulates art, culture and the city in contexts of unequal societies, in which conflict is the foundation of social relations and representations themselves. The artistic productions investigated are situated in an art context in which the rules and values of traditional art and modern art have become insufficient for interpreting the art object. This led the argumentative line of the thesis to reflect on the crisis of representation and the modern canon in art, demonstrating how contemporary art demands a break with the traditional concept of culture. This brings contemporary art closer to the demands that have filled the debates about the emergence and consolidation of a multiple epistemology that aims to be postcolonial.With a view to the theoretical articulation of the research object, the work takes Homi Bhabha’s theory of culture as its basic theoretical reference.I use the categories of border, hybridity, negotiation and liminal space related to Bhabha’s notions of displacement, slippage and estrangement to develop an interpretative key for the object of study in question.For the methodological articulation of the object and definition of the analysis procedure, Diana Taylor’s concept of performance is used.The data was gathered through documentary research (texts, photos, videos and art reviews) and semi-structured interviews and conversations with the artists studied.Based on the analysis carried out, it can be concluded that the artworks researched expose the way public life operates as a function of our political culture in contemporary cities.They do this by mobilizing other ways of conceiving and experimenting with everyday urban life; by being guided by the perspective of difference in exposing the political and social tensions of a non-synchronous social space; by highlighting the visible elements that are strategically neutralized by the inequalities that stabilize the landscapes of power. Finally, we conclude that the limits of architecture and urban planning in translating the dimensions of everyday use in the city, the fragility of public spaces and the aestheticization of the urban experience constitute epistemological sites of culture, while the ways of interfering in the city that the artworks analysed present are configured as enunciative/manifestation practices that erode the established project of the colonial city. Access here.




Izabella Maria da Silva Medeiros


Universidade Federal de Pernambuco