Installation view
31/10/19 - 10/11/19
We are rounding our 2019 programme off with a solo show of new work by Joana de Oliveira Guerriero (b. Lisbon, 1988). A Politics graduate who previously made a career working in military strategy for NATO in Brussels, de Oliveira Guerriero moved to Liverpool in 2015 to become a full-time artist. Over the weeks preceding this exhibition at OUTPUT, the artist has been on residency in Valladolid, Spain supported by CreArt: a Network of European cities who provide different opportunities for artists, which Liverpool is a part of. We describe the artist’s origins, path, and recent residency because they are relevant to the subject of this exhibition: Brexit. In Spain, she has produced large scale paintings and animation with Brexit in mind, depicting some of its ironies and absurdities, in order to reflect the most controversial feelings brought on by this event.
Installation view
All Animals are Equal, but…
Installation view
Cutting Your Face to Spite your Nose
Installation view
Gone To The Dogs
Installation view
La Reine
Installation view
You Will Not Own This Painting But You Can Lease It
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view
On left:
The Last Porridge
Do the works have titles? What are they about?

This exhibition is here so we can talk about Brexit once more, especially since the opening is on the 31st of October which became a symbolic date for Brexit. It is disconcerting to witness what the world has been evolving since Trump’s election and people’s desire of building walls in a globalized era. From the philosophical point of view, humankind has never been so developed. All the knowledge and technology capacity that we have nowadays seem to be the furthest apart from our political decisions and that creates a contrast that it is interesting to talk about.

Title 1. ’All Animals are Equal, but…’

This is a sentence by George Orwell on Animal Farm. George Orwell can only be a great inspiration. It is still very relevant to this day the way Orwell analyzed society. The metaphors and allegories the author uses can be transported to describe the times we are living now and I suppose we can only understand the present by knowing something about the past. This painting shows some struggle among all kinds of people in a society, shows some stereotypes such as a black man excelling in athleticism but as a contrast also shows a black male tennis player which is not very common. There is a blue introspective character behind them who’s perhaps questioning society roles and stereotypes. There is a female central figure with a wet suit on, representing the desire of breaking with establishment, of swimming away, holding hands and sharing an orange with one of the other figures on the painting, representing the need for togetherness. The two figures on the left hand side of the painting also hold hands and a passport with the world painted on. Thinking of where our society is heading towards is a must.

Title 2. ‘Cutting Your Face to Spite your Nose’

This title subverts the saying to cut off your nose to spite your face which metaphorizes the questions, did Britain shoot itself in the foot? The painting contains only three elements, Henry the VIII holding a decapitated head, an analogy to ‘the power’, a naked woman with a separated limb, representing the people, naked and vulnerable, detached from each other, and the tiger let into the room suddenly, an analogy to the referendum itself.

Title 3. ‘The Last Porridge’

The title of this painting is a reference to The Last Supper. The main figure is inspired by Oliver Cromwell, a very controversial historical character. A dictator for some or the symbol for the beginning of parliamentary democracy for others. In this painting the main character surrounded by birds has the last porridge. This image is questioning the future of Britain and its economy. Will there be food scarcity? Will the UK be able to reinvent itself and become more self-sustainable? And above all, was Brexit the right choice?

Title 4. ‘Gone to the Dogs’

A representation of a British classical scene of greyhounds racing which title is an old saying metaphor that means that things are not alright.     

Title 5. ‘La Reine’

The absurd irony that the Queen has moved to France because of Brexit.

Title 6. ‘You Will Not Own This Painting But You Can Lease It’

This painting is about how capitalism can challenge life priorities. There’s a man eating take away chips on his BMW leased for 299 a month.