Artistic residencies

Luísa Nóbrega 29 April – 18 May 2014

It’s not Good to Have a Past, Even Someone Else’s

Luísa Nóbrega, our Brazilian artist in residence, presented an installation entitled “It's not good to have a past, even someone else's” comprising fragments of twelve performances which she has given during the 21 days of her stay in Warsaw. Through her activities, she refers to the limitations of historical study and the language of the contemporary poetry of Paul Celan and Anna Kamieńska, among others.

Her actions engage in a dialogue with a number of memorial sites, including Warsaw’s Jewish cemeteries, the remnants of the ghetto wall, the Berson and Bauman Families’ Children’s Hospital and the Treblinka death camp.

The artist’s understanding of history as fragmentary collective imagination, filled with gaps and contradictions, is visible in her way of registering invisible actions in public areas, witnessed only by accidental passersby. What we could see at the Museum on the May 17th are objects which the artist has used as props in her performances, as well as inconspicuous photo, audio or video recordings of her actions – which provide only a partial and inconclusive glimpse of what she has done in the last three weeks.

These fragmented and incomplete traces speak to the nature of our knowledge of past events, to our limited access and understanding of the experiences of other people. This vague documentation, together with artist’s persistent refusal to share the exact nature of her actions, are linked, on the one hand, to the fact that she is responding to a past that isn’t hers (she doesn’t have Jewish roots), and on the other, define trauma as an unutterable state.

The conclusion of the artist's residency at the museum was a meeting led by Adam Lipszyc, the author of >> "Nothing: in the throat. A few remarks on the work of Luísa Nóbrega".

More about the artist

A philosophy graduate from the University of São Paulo, Luísa Nóbrega is a Brazilian performance artist. She participated in such events as the Periferias multidisciplinary festival in Huesca, Spain, Arte Ocupa Live Art Festival in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and many more, including those held in Uruguay and Colombia. She was an artist-in-residence under such programmes as the SIM Residency in Reykjavik or the Nida Art Colony in Neringa, Lithuania. She has also been granted scholarship under the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco programme.

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The activity “Open Museum – Education in Action” is carried out within the project “Jewish Cultural Heritage”, component “Faces of Diversity”. Supported from the Norway and EEA Grants by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
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