Mercedes Barros Back to the Jungle

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Edited by: Gabriele Rivet Texts by: Kathrin Luz German, English August 2003, 64 Pages, 27 Ills. Softcover 201mm x 155mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-9154-0
The works of Mercedes Barros, who lives in Brazil and Germany, reflect the promises and the horrors of modern civilization.

Lovers and sleepers, insects and fungi, owls and crocodiles are all bustling around in Mercedes Barros's urban jungles. Her collage-like compositions are based on Barros's own photographs as well as material from family albums or magazines, and include images of human beings, animals, landscape, cities, and beaches, which the Brazilian artist (born in 1957 in Rio de Janeiro) manipulates digitally. Thus the colors seem crass and boisterous, while the black and white builds up strong contrasts. The sizes are out of proportion, or a fixed viewpoint or shadow is missing. An overwhelming and oppressive pictorial language develops, which is at times treated with irony. The result is an associative world which moves in the field of tension between nature and metropolis, reality and dream. The track always leads back to the cultural identity of the artist, who lives alternately in Brazil and Germany. Only fragments of a nostalgic place seem to be left on the way "back to the jungle", as Kathrin Luz describes it in her essay, "where only the subliminal, emotional entanglements speak of the jungle and the thicket, the devastation and the degeneration in our souls."