The transitory nature of urban life where steel and concrete reinforce a false sense of permanence is the subject of media artist Sonia Guggisberg’s latest explorations in social containment and urban chaos. Lost dreams and childhood memories intimated in song fall under the destructive weight of a wrecking ball. Guggisberg sees no future without a legacy of the past, a past traceable in the streets, the buildings, the homes—the terra firma urban dwellers take for granted until it is gone. Crossing Images is the anti-thesis to a thesis of urban renewal that destroys and displaces, causing an unsettling cultural and personal amnesia.
The exhibition is cryptically autobiographical, presenting three installations that complement each other. The video wall displays a series of buildings being razed in Sao Paolo where landmark codes are violated with impunity and where the artist suffered the trauma of seeing the house of her childhood demolished. A second video installation chronicles its demolition accompanied by a wistful juvenile song in an obsessive loop of memory, loss, and nostalgia. Lastly, the crossing images of travel through the Swiss countryside melding with images of Sao Paolo and their peoples – strangers or family and friends who achieve anonymity under the urban gaze. The passage of time is marked rhythmically through the changing pace of images flowing in and out of each other with a fleeting sense of recognition in an eternal present that moves like a car on a highway of remembrances.ARTIST BIO
Sonia Guggisberg is a media artist working in video and site-specific installations. She is also a researcher, experimenting with the language of video graphics in documentary production. Guggisberg holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Semiotics from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP) and a Master of Arts from the State University of Campinas. She was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil where she currently resides. Guggisberg began working with images and video installations in 2006 with the following exhibitions: Mergulhos (SESC Pinheiros, 2008); Lençol Freático at the Bank of Brasil Cultural Center (SP, 2010); the International Symposium (F.A.q.2) Sincretismo dos sentidos (SESC Ipiranga, 2007).
In 2009 she exhibited and lectured on Technological Metaphors at the University of Siegen and the Wallraf Museum in Cologne. She was part of Infiltração at the Paço Municipal (Porto Alegre, RS) and of Tempo Buscar Project (SESC Piracicaba, 2009), and Sujeito: Corpo (Sesc Pinheiros, 2010). Other venues and exhibitions that have presented Guggisberg’s work include: VIVO's Art.Mov Festival (Galeria Baró, 2010); Água na Oca, Ibirapuera (SP, 2010); Fundo at the Edmundo Vasconcelos Hospital (designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer; SP, 2011); Dialogues from Modern to Contemporary, Torre Santander, curator Rejane Cintrão (SP, 2011); Além da Forma: Plano Matéria, Espaço e Tempo, Figueiredo Ferraz Institute, curator Cauê Alves (Ribeirão Preto, SP, 2012)
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