Lima goes back in time, looking not only into her personal history, but also into the Brazilian cultural records of feminism to disclose old mechanisms of body control and homophobic mind setting. Lima's research includes the gay magazine "Lampião da Esquina" (1978 - 1981), published in Brazil during the military dictatorship.
Sapato: shoe (m); sapatinha : little shoe (f); sandalinha : little sandal (f); sapatão: big shoe (m). In Brazil, slangs that link women's shoe size and sexuality are turned into stereotypes created by a hetero-normative society that acts often in a pervasively way. Whereas "sapatão" is the term to designate masculine women, "sandalinha" or "sapatinha" ("inha" is the diminutive suffix) stands for a more feminine lesbian.
The second sculpture, "Eu tô aqui pra ficar - I'm here to stay", a concreted pair of Havaianas - once symbol of precarity in Brazil, today a product of global economy - creates a paradox between strength and fragility. Like a foundation, the concrete blocks are a metaphor for Lima setting foot in the Austrian art scene and exposing her identity.
In attempt of deconstructing the sapatão, Lima plays with contrasts of shape and representation. The sculptures are made of different materials and textures, carry different meanings, and emphasize the otherness.
Melissa Antunes de Menezes
Bronze sandal: photo © Carin Mandeli
Concreted Hawaianas: photo © Antonia Wagner-Strauss
Lampião da Esquina
Selfpotraits by Roberta Lima
Video still from "Epistemische Gewalt" - Marissa Lobo and Roberta Lima diskutieren das Konzept des "sapatão"
Exhibition views by Roberta Lima and Antonia Wagner-Strauss