Self-Accusation – Bárbara Paz’s first solo show – 05/18/2023 – Entretempos

The beloved visual artist, actress and director Bárbara Paz invited me to write about the works of her first exhibition, which will open this Saturday, the 20th, at Galeria Fonte. What a joy to be able to publish the text in full here.

Bárbara and her collective of individuals, torn, wide open, inside out. What are the boundaries demarcated by each individual in their being-being in the world? What events cross us, mark us, make us bleed until these borders break down and everything becomes a single territory?

Your body, your face and every part of your most absolute being as a political territory: everything happens and is communicated. A body that prints does not force constant tearing. A body that imprints deep tearing inside.

It is necessary to disarm the fragments of worlds among themselves and within themselves so that the ebullition takes place and allows this dialogue between body, earth and soul. You have to get close, look closely at the pores and sew with invisible threads. It needs to heal – or not. One choice superimposed on another in a potent and tearing plurality.

Some close completely, others insist on opening from time to time, reminding us even more that they exist. A gaping wound with a scab that never goes away. They have the scars that tear, that expose obscure pieces of what was. They break through the multiple layers of skin and leave us raw. Even in the form of a scar, history continues to flow. They continue to open up a past. A scar is always a past and a present. Even if it still pulsates internally, it was and is. We carry with us. The landscape carries with it. Each one has its beginning, middle and end.

There is a difference between being and having been. And take ownership of the story itself. And she does this every day, in all the fields of art in which she travels. It is not disconnected “selves” that inhabit the performance, the camera, the voice, the moving image, the photograph. The crying came for the actress me, the pain and the entrails, for the real me. An intermittent crossing.

There’s Barbara in raw flesh here. Without the costume of the mask and with the truth of her scars. Printed on her body. Printed in your happening. In each of the works – installations, photographs, videos and words – exhibited in her first solo exhibition “Self-accusation”, at Galeria Fonte, the fear of being Barbara is moving. As she transmutes, memories of her activate. From other worlds, with other creatures. As she bleeds, memories of her linger. As she rips, she oozes glass dust through her bloodstream.

A trace of skin on skin itself. Narratives about a body. Tears that multiply, transform, proliferate and tear again. They cry, sob, pulsate. Memories engraved in the skin. at home. in the landscape. Death. End. Grief. To be born. Start. Party. A new layer forms.

The beginning is singular. We are born and die in the absolute self. Traveling across the earth in a world that does not reverberate you is frightening. But yes, inhabiting this self in pain, trauma and guts requires courage. A personal story told through the image is in danger.

At age 17, his face split in two. A slit of skin pierced his self. Her scar made her dive into imperfection. 434 points in trying to hide from the mirror and each other. For years she avoided the prettiest on her skin. For years, her truth was masked.

“I remade myself as I did; I managed to disguise myself, hide myself.” said the scar.

“A thread held my halves together. A nerve held my parts together. I decided not to remove this mark. Who am I? I was afraid of myself without it. A broken vase.” Barbara Paz


Fonte Gallery – Rua Mourato Coelho, 751, São Paulo

Opening: May 20th – 2pm to 8pm

Visitation: until June 17 – Thursday to Saturday, 2 pm to 8 pm

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