Luiz Roque’s evocative work takes the form of beautiful and potent filmic vignettes that contend with some of the most pressing and charged issues of contemporary life. Gender, identity, sensuality and desire, standards of beauty, and the visibility of marginalized communities are all foregrounded in his work. Drawing upon the visual language of sci-fi thrillers and documentary film, Roque’s imagery reframes the social, geopolitical, and environmental shifts that have become defining features of contemporary culture. His films transport the viewer to far-off and fantasy-laden places—desert landscapes, lush green spaces, subterranean dwellings—and shift between utopian dreamscapes and dystopian realities.
In República (2020), the film from which the exhibition takes its title, Roque focuses on the dislocation and discrimination experienced by immigrants. In the film, famous São Paulo performer Marcinha do Corintho describes her experience relocating from Brazil to Italy, sharing her hopes and dreams and, ultimately, unrealized expectations of what a life abroad will bring. As the camera slowly spins, we, too, experience the discomfort and disorientation described by the film’s main character. Like Marcinha, we are caught in a continuous loop, implicated in the cycle of discrimination.
Luiz: Roque: República is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
Luiz Roque: República was previously shown at CAC Passerelle, Brest, France and Pivô, São Paulo, Brazil. The presentation at the Visual Arts Center is organized by MacKenzie Stevens, Director, Visual Arts Center and Loïc Le Gall, Director, CAC Passerelle, with Donato Loia, 2020–21 Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts Center.
Luiz Roque (b. 1979, Cachoeira do Sul, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. He has had solo exhibitions at Pivô, São Paulo (2020); CAC Passerelle, Brest (2020); New Museum, New York (2019); MAC Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2018); Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo and Brussels (2017); Tramway, Glasgow (2017); CCSP, São Paulo (2016) and the White Cubicle Toilet Gallery, London (2015); among others. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the BWA Galleries of Contemporary Art, Wroclaw (2020), Maison Populaire, Paris (2020); MAM, São Paulo (2019); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito (2018); Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2018); 1st Riga Biennial (2018); A plus A, Venice (2018); Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna (2018); Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre (2018); MASP, São Paulo (2017); the 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016); MoMA PS1, New York (2016); DRAF, London (2015); Kunsthalle, Vienna (2014); 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); and Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2013); among others.