Janaina Wagner works across video, photography, scenography, drawing and installations. Her work aims to present a critical understanding of the ways in which humans impose systems of order and control upon their surroundings. Through the appropriation of history as presented through various forms of media, Wagner considers how notions of progress and legacy are articulated through a constellation of tales, facts, images and memories. Her ongoing research, entitled Oral fictions and the dismantled reality of the Anthropocene: the Curupira, investigates deforestation in Brazil and the blurring boundaries between fiction and reality through the figure of the Curupira, a mythological figure of Brazil that lives in and protects the forests.
During her residency at Gasworks, Wagner will continue working on the release of her latest film, Curupira e a máquina do destino (2021). She will also research the history and visual representations of the Year Without a Summer, a phenomenon in 1816 of severe climate abnormalities caused by a series of volcanic eruptions. This research will inform her new project, Red sky, black sun, a science fiction-inspired documentary situated in the present. The main character of the film is a Nellore, a breed of cattle that is now the most industrialized and exported livestock of Brazil - the largest exporter of red meat of the planet.
Janaina Wagner lives and works between Paris and São Paulo. Her recent solo exhibitions include: With burning love, Villa Belleville, Paris (2018); Floresta, Museu do Esquilo, Ibiuna (2017); Criatura, Oficina Cultural Oswald Andrade, São Paulo (2016); Decupagem/ Crônica de um final anunciado, Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto (2015). Recent group exhibitions include: A natural history of ruins, Pivô, São Paulo (2021); Simultan Festival XV, Unseen, Timisoara; Emma Goldman Anarchist Film Festival, New York City; Casa Carioca, MAR Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro; Curupira, O Turvo Journal publication, São Paulo; The Vampire Squid From Hell, Hot-Bed, Philadelphia (all 2020); Começo de Século, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo; The Vampire Squid from Hell, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles; International Conference on Landscape and Cinema, Universidade de Letras de Lisboa; BIT - Biennale de l’Image Tangible, Plateforme, Paris; 10 Semana de Cinema, Rio de Janeiro; NES Artist Residency - 10 years alumni video exhibition, Skagaströnd; Festival Mondes Possibles, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Paris; TRELA, Ateliê 397, São Paulo; and Insitution, Festival Hors Piste, Centre Pompidou, Paris (all 2018).
Janaina Wagner’s residency is supported by Gasworks’ Brazilian Residency Patrons’ Circle and she is hosted in the Roberts Residency Studio.