Julia Isídrez shines at the biennale arte 2024

Julia Isídrez – Dreambellion

It is said the work of Julia Isidrez, like that of her mother before her, Juana Marta Rodas, stems from inner rebellion. Rebellion against the disappearance of the know-how of making everyday secular or spiritual Guarani objects rendered obsolete by new technologies. Rebellion, perhaps also, for the two sisters in misery and impending death, against the disappearance of a time and place beyond words and images, namely childhood.

Does their rebellion appear resolute or playful, ardent or humble, silent or musical? You be the judge.

Therefore, Julia Isidrez adds to the three immemorial functions of ceramics: eating, praying, and burying; a fourth function, which allows her to get closer to that defended childhood: dreaming.

Like dreams blossoming in the middle of the night, her ceramics are made from black clay. But they also bear traces of soft ochre patina. Their shapes conjure luminous or fantastic revelations, but the fantasies always retain some uncanny warmth and roundness: humped armadillos, waddling caterpillars, bristly iguanas, croaking frogs, snuffly anteaters, etc. This familiar yet mysterious bestiary is alternately portrayed as solitary, multiplied, standing on empty globes, or curiously gaping, like so many different microcosms – standing somewhere between wakefulness and dream, both vivid and almost faded1. Like an encounter between Pompon and Miyazaki in some remote watering hole on the banks of Rio Paraguay.

When I look at Julia Isidrez’s sculpture, I sense it has the tactile quality of tanned leather and warm bread. One almost wants to caress it, to knead it, or perhaps to swallow it, to make it one’s own and imbue its mystery. Few sculptures can claim this self-evidence.

Augustin de Lestrange

1 Can this tension of a space in between somehow be related to Spanish-Guarani bilingualism, or to the genius loci of where Julia creates – a suburban area close to the pottery city of Itá in the outskirts of Gran Asunción?

Tekoharte - Julia Isidrez - Dragon

“Stranieri Ovunque” – 60th Biennale di Venezia International Art Exhibition

The title “Foreigners Everywhere “, taken from the work of the Claire Fontaine collective, highlights the themes of migration, decolonization and identity in a world marked by crises linked to the movement of people and at the borders. The series of multilingual neon sculptures expresses the complexity of the relationships between identity, nationality, race, gender and other differences, while highlighting the universal notion of foreignness.

Organized by Adriano Pedrosa, first curator of the southern hemisphere, from April 20 to November 24, 2024 at the Giardini and the Arsenale the exhibition will host two main sections: the Nucleo Contemporaneo and the Nucleo Storico.

Nucleo Contemporaneo places emphasis on artists who have never participated in the International Exhibition before. It explores themes of strangeness and marginalization through queer, outsider, and indigenous artists.

Nucleo Storico presents 20th-century works from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, challenging the boundaries of modernism and highlighting modernisms in the often-overlooked Global South. Rooms are dedicated to portraits, abstractions, and the global Italian artistic diaspora.

Recurring motifs in the exhibition include interest in textiles and crafts, as well as the transmission of artistic knowledge across generations. The Biennale also aims to extend its “carbon neutrality” certification obtained in 2023, as part of an environmental sustainability approach.
Roberto Cicutto, president of the Venice Biennale, highlights the importance of this international event which offers a look at contemporary art through the prism of different cultures, with a significant participation of national pavilions and collateral events.

This exhibition aims to provoke reflections on contemporary artistic, social and political issues, while celebrating cultural and artistic diversity across the world.