Forton mg, Urethane foam
366 x 61 x 56 cm
Edition of 1

Climb is one in a series of Juliana Cerqueria Leite’s works that is made using a unique fabrication process. The form is a cast of the space left in a large volume of clay which the artist has physically climbed upwards through. The clay itself is inserted within a sonotube, an industrial strength cardboard used for casting concrete. The repetitive movements of her barely-clothed body creates a document of this movement in the clay, leaving decipherable impressions of her elbows, knees, feet and toes on the sculpture’s exterior. This simple, yet physically demanding process preserves a specific sequence of actions and the surprisingly uniform circumference of the lower part of the column, cast in sonotube as testament to the fabrication process, illustrates the demanding restrictions imposed on the artist’s body by the density of clay. This, in part, is Cerqueira Leite’s dispute against the notion that physical matter is subservient to the will of mankind. The powerfully visceral configuration of material eschews notions of space, time and traditional form; its gravity-defying structure is essentially a negative space made positive by the artist’s actions. With Climb, Cerqueira Leite enacts an investigation into limitations, the body and our relationship with matter. The organic-looking mass is a challenge to formal definitions of figuration and prompts a reconsideration of how our bodies might communicate our histories if free from the constraints of physics.


About The Artist

The spirit of Cerqueira Leite's work aligns itself with post-minimalist concerns of the body in space. Her sculptures are visually striking and tactile - often lending themselves to feminist readings due to their historical influences and performative exuberance. However, Cerqueira Leite maintains that her works do not have a specifically feminist agenda. Instead her work shows a struggle between narrative and context that addresses universal human conditions through the undeniably corporeal dimension to her work. Her sculptures reconcile the "practice" of art making with the bodies of its creator and spectators, portraying the contingency of means and end, input and output.

Monumental or delicately proportioned her works investigate how time and physical action are captured by matter to generate form. Her practice reveals a phenomenological approach to process by mapping the experience of embodiment, how it is portrayed through figurative representation and the history of sculpture. The objects, drawings, photography, performance and video work that make up Leite's practice continually reveal their past engagement with the artists' body. Emerging from an interest in how tactile, temporal and spatial experience is stored in memory and the mental body-map, her work is determined by specific action-schemes, repetitive choreography and the properties of materials.

‘Climb’ is currently on display

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Visiting Information

Juliana Cerqueira Leite

Born: 1981

Other Artworks by Juliana Cerqueira Leite at CASS



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