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Anesthesia, 2023

ANESTHESIA | Paula Marcondes de Souza | 79” X 59” X 394” | 200cm x 150cm x 1000cm | Installation | Light, copper treated with red wine, sweat, polluted water, holy water, Prozac, semen, saliva| Brazil, 2023





ANESTHESIA explores our relentless pursuit to avoid pain. This work combines organic and inorganic elements, including light and copper treated with red wine, sweat, polluted water, holy water, Prozac, semen, and saliva. Each component is chosen for its physical properties and symbolises our attempt to anesthetize unpleasant emotions and sensations. ​ Copper, a porous metal and exceptional conductor of energy, serves as the backbone. The treatment of copper with red wine, for example, refers to purification rituals associated with wine and to intoxicating aspects associated with the consumption of alcohol in general. ​ The collection of water from the Pinheiros River in São Paulo, Brazil, a river undergoing a depollution process but still bearing marks of contamination, symbolizes man's ongoing struggle with physical and emotional toxins. This choice reflects a critique of our relationship with the environment and, by extension, the ways we deal with toxic aspects of our own lives. ​ The installation delves into the idea that our efforts to avoid suffering can paradoxically make us more susceptible to it. By incorporating substances like Prozac, a medication used to treat anxiety, along with body fluids that are associated with intimacy and vulnerability but are also the expression of ways to avoid emotional pain, the work challenges the observer to confront their choices of coping strategies. ​ ANESTHESIA challenges us to confront our emotional depths to face uncomfortable truths about how we deal with pain and discomfort. The installation invites us to reflect on ways we anesthetize our experiences of pain and to question whether this results in becoming more toxic to ourselves and others.

Montana I, 2023

MONTANA I I Paula Marcondes de Souza | Series Montana |70” x 80” | 178 cm x 202cm | Installation comprising 2 vídeos: “Yellowstone River” and “Air Balloons” | Montana, USA, 2023

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Component: YELLOWSTONE RIVER I Paula Marcondes de Souza | Series Montana | Montana, 2023

Component: AIR BALLOONS I Paula Marcondes de Souza | Series Montana | Montana, 2023

My work is predominantly inspired by urban experiences. Yet, it is in nature that I reconnect with my essence. ​ Montana, United States, big sky country, is my happy place. The grandeur of the mountains, the immensity of the landscape, the purity of the air and rivers, the silence of the snow, the richness of the earth, the diversity of animal life, the warmth of human connection, all come together to provide an abundant source of energy. ​ It is here I feel deeply inspired to reconnect with that aspect of my being that is in harmony with my creator. ​ In this work, I seek to encapsulate the essence of my experience by translating the strength and beauty of nature into a visual language that communicates the vital importance of our relationship with the natural world.​

Going Home II, 2023

GOING HOME II I Paula Marcondes de Souza | Series Going Home |118” x 394” x 394”| 3m x 10m x 10m | Installation | Steel cable, light, photograph “Going Home I” on glass (27” x 16” | 60cm x 40cm | Montana, 2023), 300 metal sculptures “Going Home III – CCC” (Approx. 10” x 8” | 25cm x 20cm each, Brazil 2023) | Brazil, 2023

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Component: GOING HOME I | Series Going Home | Photograph on glass | 27” x 16” | 60cm x 40cm | Montana, 2023

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Component: GOING HOME III | Series Going Home | Metal sculpture | 10” x 8” | 25cm x 20cm, Brazil 2023

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Component: GOING HOME IV | Series Going Home | Metal sculpture | 9” x 7” | 23cm x 18cm, Brazil 2023

GOING HOME II invites reflection on the concept of "being at home" by exploring the layers of meaning which intertwine around our feeling of a vital human emotion.  Hearts made of rusted iron represent the essence of being, guiding us home by steel cables. They symbolize the journeys we undertake often distracted and inattentive to our vital needs. ​ The installation is created from my photograph GOING HOME I of a community in Montana, represented by mailboxes. My choice highlights the invisible connections which form the essence of community, suggesting that to 'be at home'  can be found in the relationships we have with one another.  Behind the paths of the hearts and the photograph of the community in Montana lies the light. ​ The work invites introspection about the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions that define our sense of belonging and of refuge.

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