The fundamental meaning of my practice is the impossibility of defining boundaries in contemporary times in terms of language as idiom or artistic media, or in terms of nationality or identity, which remain especially relevant issues for those who migrate for family, work, religious, ethnic or political reasons.
My practice deals with the construction of heteroclite figures, residues of different personal experiences, represented on one hand by appropriation — which I do not treat as a conceptual practice, but instead as a sort of safe way to work between the environments in which I am a foreigner — and, on the other hand, by a syncretic coexistence of diverse lines of thought and practices with which I build my identity and culture.
The blurring of boundaries between multiple processes expresses a diverse cultural mindset. In my work I juxtapose Old and New Worlds. I manipulate violently images of European art reducing them to constructive elements which are evocative of the Brazilian esthetic of self-built dwellings; these elements are haphazardly arranged and assembled, and the structural precariousness and fragility of the paper are evident to the viewer. The process of destruction and restoration of materials opens the space for potentiality. Destruction becomes construction. My work eludes traditional narrative, with beginning and ending. By working with traces, I am intermingling rational and irrational. For the viewer, the imagery in fragments aims at offering an open-ended and personal experience of the work.
From traditional artistic practices - printmaking, drawing, sculpture - the blurring of boundaries between processes translates into a contemporary notion of hybridity, be it applied to cultural identity or artistic process. My work deals with cultural hybridity and with belonging to two drastically different cultures. Through my work, I create and shape my own cultural identity.
My research revolves around issues of the changing nature of the self in contemporary times, of the turmoil of contemporary life in metropolises, of Brazil’s coloniality, or the idea of past-as-present in former colonies, and of Brazil as an incomplete modernity; the main focus is art as process of self-awareness; sometimes the self transpires into the work - although ontological, it does not portrait the self directly: I am talking about the experience of being an embodied mind. In the work, the sculptural paper skins refer to the dichotomy between private interior and public exterior; these emptied bodies, the result of external pressures, in which the interior has dissolved or vanished, get immersed in their surroundings, in an image of the emptying of the ego.
As I move into uncharted territories in the making, I am interested in found objects to mold new forms, and also into incorporating actually found objects and heterodox materials in the work. I am interested in the examples provided by arte povera. I am interested in chance operations and accidents, and in the gap between intention and realization: it is a leap in the work and the path to discoveries.
About Sandra Lapage
Sandra Lapage has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of Sao Paulo. Brazilian and Belgian, presently based in Sao Paulo, she has recently concluded her MFA in Studio Arts at the Maine College of Art. Sandra has exhibited in solo and group shows in Brazil, Europe and the United States, notedly at the Brazilian Embassy in Brussels in 2007, at the Centro Cultural Sao Paulo in 2012, the Brazilian Consulate in NYC and Gowanus Loft in 2014, and participated in residencies in Switzerland (Fondation Château Ruffieux) and New York (NARS Foundation).