Since the 2000s, Luiz Roque (born in 1979 in Brazil) has been constructing an œuvre firmly rooted in contemporary issues, by steering a course between a primitive past and a future bearing the stamp of science-fiction. Working principally with the moving image, often in Super 8, he takes very great care with the quality of his textures and the aesthetics of his films. From 7 February 2020, Passerelle Centre d’Art Contemporain is presenting the first major solo exhibition by Luiz Roque in a French institution. The República exhibition brings together a brand new film for 2020 and a selection of works from 2004 to 2019, the whole envisaged as a meandering stroll through the mind of the artist.
The exhibition extends over two floors of the art centre. On the ground floor, four films are being shown, in turn evoking a human-less world dominated by a dog in Zero (2019), a subterranean world where language has been replaced by dance in S (2017), a new sort of monument that unifies instead of magnifying, with O Novo Monumento (2014), and a timeless landscape controlled by a greenhouse in Estufa (2004). In many of his experimentations, Luiz Roque suggests historical characters of the Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement such as Amílcar de Castro (1920-2002) and Franz Weissmann (1911-2005) who defined art as a living space engaging the spectator. The films shown in the exhibition attain a further degree of physical involvement by extensively including dance.
On the first floor of the Passerelle, an entire room is devoted to the artist’s new film, República (2020). Luiz Roque here returns to the codes of the documentary with an exploration of the LGBTQ+ area of São Paulo known as República. There the artist films life at night, attempting to represent the urban and architectural context of the locality. He uses Super 8 technique, thus creating a dichotomy between the use of an outdated old technology and the representation of the digital city of the twenty-first century.
The film República by Luiz Roque is an original co-production with Passerelle Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brest and the Pivô Art Centre, São Paulo. The film will be shown in Pivô from 21 March 2020.
Several of his films are also being shown until 26 January 2020 at the New Museum, New York in the exhibition Screen Series: Luiz Roque.
This exhibition is supported by the Brazilian Embassy in France.