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'SUPER-NATURAL', Group Show at OLHÃO, São Paulo

SUPER-NATURAL sounds like a strange presence in OLHÃO's physical space, juxtaposing distant echoes of what is nature or natural, in contrast to an arid, concreted, and urban exhibition space. 
One of the works in the exhibition, by artist Débora Delmar, gives off the odor of newly printed money bills in one of the rooms. In 2012, on the American television program 'Shark Tank,' one of the aspiring entrepreneurs tried to sell his invention 'Liquid Money' to a jury of investors, a perfume with the smell of money. He said he was inspired by a study conducted in Japan that found that spraying this odor in factories boosts workers' productivity. On the other hand, the smell of the dollar can refer to fantasies of supposed commercial transactions in a luxury market, that of art. Thus, even if SUPER-NATURAL takes place in an autonomous artist-run institution, the association with money and success hangs in the air. 
There is also a display in the exhibition with latex heads with prints of the faces of nine members of the Kardashian/Jenner family. The clan is a billionaire phenomenon of today's digital age - fame began in 2007 when Kim's homemade sex tape was leaked online. In recent years, the family is primarily known for launching trends in the beauty market, spreading new standardizations in the shape of curvy bodies and sculpted faces: the Kardashian beauty model is ultra-viral in makeup tutorials, plastic surgery, and social media filters. 'The Kardashians,' by Ilê Sartuzi, gives a tangibility to these faces, so well known but flattened by canvases, as has also been a large part of our current mediation with the so-called "real" world.
We are dealing here, however, with remote intuitions about the perception of SUPER-NATURAL, as the those of this text were imagined from a distance, fed by online conversations that allowed us to get in touch with the works and the project through PDFs, 3D models, emails and messages on WhatsApp. SUPER-NATURAL was scheduled to happen in May 2020 but was interrupted by the pandemic and had to be postponed for over a year to become viable. Confronted by this postponement, its organizers, Ilê Sartuzi, Wisrah Villefort, artists who explore digital visuality in their works, and OLHÃO, did not consider using solutions that have become popular in recent months, such as adapting the exhibition, or part of it, to an online format. The exhibition depends on the physical space, but it is constituted entirely virtually - whether in this text, in the choice of works, and in almost all other stages, such as the remote assembly of some works.
We wonder if, in these pandemic times, visitors to the exhibition, wearing their face masks, will manage to let themselves emerge through the apparatus of the white cube, abstracting their discomfort and actually being present in front of the works. Will they seek to distance themselves from other people who enter the space? Will they associate the use of their masks with critical concepts in this exhibition, binomials that may sound opposite but coexist in simultaneous processes: nature and artificiality, synthetic and organic? The health crisis that went through the development of SUPER-NATURAL certainly interests the thought woven by the exhibition. Now, it will be seen from the perspective of the impact of this more-than-human phenomenon, the virus, on culture.

Lívia Benedetti and Marcela Vieira

28.8.21 — 30.10.21

Adriano Amaral, Nídia Aranha, Vitória Cribb, Débora Delmar, Ilê Sartuzi, Wisrah Villefort, Janaina Wagner

Photo by Julia Thompson


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