|JOANA DE OLIVEIRA GUERREIRO
|31/10/19 - 10/11/19
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.
All Animals are Equal, but…
Cutting Your Face to Spite your Nose
Gone To The Dogs
You Will Not Own This Painting But You Can Lease It
On left: The Last Porridge
|Do the works have titles? What are they about?
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
Title 1. ’All Animals are Equal, but…’
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’
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’
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’
representation of a British classical scene of greyhounds racing which
title is an old saying metaphor that means that things are not
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’
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.