Uma coluna [A Column], 2016

Cristiano Lenhardt
1975, Itaara, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Lives in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

With ordinary materials and an attentive eye, Cristiano Lenhardt creates an ‘animal world’. Animal, because it invests in the rudimentary, simple and poor, disconsidering the idea of erudition that for white Western civilization often depends upon wealth. Animal, because it is kept in a savage state, uncivilized, oblivious to aesthetic habits, as well as those of power and class. In the outskirts of a Brazil taken over by monocultures and cycles of exploitation, this made-up place, half real, half imaginary, builds up vital energy for creating that survives and is able to transgress through sheer kindness rather than conflict. In Trair a espécie [To Betray the Species] (2014-2016), a herd of inhuman beings spreads out and expands throughout the building. Even if made from yams, they cease to be food and gain a physical body, and transcendence. Regarding their state, only time will tell, since they are as much a life in decay as a root that consolidates and grows. Uma coluna [A Column] (2016), in turn, took shape out of a performance on the opening of the 32nd Bienal, when sixty dancers braided the building’s architectural columns with multi-colored ribbons, in a folkloric dance known as the maypole of ribbons. The choreography creates a handcrafted web spanning the building’s three floors, resulting in a sort of infinite column, a mantra of continuity inwards and outwards, even if, after the action, it is established as a sculpture.