black rain # an anti-war project

curatorial text: Agnaldo Farias

Beginning in 2003, Rachel Rosalen has taken periodical trips to Japan, on which occasions she was faced with more than 24 hours of flight in search of a remote Other in a region of antipodal geography and history (in relation to Brazil). Her body becomes numbed as a result of the immobility imposed by the scanty room within the cylindrical aircraft – itself a flying tunnel leading to an archipelago of enigmas that is uncovered before the eyes of the artist or of any arriving visitor.

As expected, in the works she has produced in Japan, Rachel Rosalen deals with the body (often her own) under the light and the back light of Japanese architecture; of the fluid notions of space and time, and of the more or less material signs that become enmeshed in it.

“Black Rain # an anti-war Project”, a work that the artist conceived specifically for Instituto Tomie Ohtake with the support of The Japan Foundation, plunges us into the horrors of war and the blunt confrontation with tragedy and its most immediate effects, i.e., blindness and speechlessness. Inside Rosalen’s tunnel of mirrors, projected images of bodies seemingly melt away under the projection of our own body images, and we see bodies of many cities that have tumbled in recent decades. We halt in face of the evident impossibility to insist on the concept of beauty after the mushroom cloud that rose over Hiroshima and the lead droplets that hit the city inhabitants, sticking to their skin, melting them away, and poisoning them. With this new work, the artist deepens her investigation on the construction of the body in postwar Japan. Yet, she does not limit herself to this issue: unfortunately, innumerable communities are presently living and growing under the shadow of violence. Through distorted images and sounds, spectators of Rosalen’s work will experience in their own body the persuasive force of this libel against cruelty and stupidity.