Fine Art - NOMINEE: Leticia Bernaus
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André Bazin said, “If the plastic arts were put under psychoanalysis, the practice of embalming the dead might turn out to be a fundamental factor in their creation.” He was talking about the idea of the preservation of the body as the constitution of a work of art about oneself: the mummy as the first self-portrait.
I’m attracted to that magic side of photography capable of stopping in time what’s in process towards its own disappearance. That power to make things last beyond time. In the end, art should not be much more than that: an act against death. Everything is finite and, at once, regenerates. And art, like religion, is nothing but the attempt to get near what is difficult to accept and understand.
Zoobiografia is a series of photographs composed by portraits of women, plants, animals, still lifes and self-portraits. From the complete series I choose portraits from both of my grandmothers, from some powerful representative friends and also from myself. Through this images I created an extended self-portrait composed by the combination of a variety of other ́s characteristics that allowed me to explore my identity as well as to deal with an extremely complex subject that equally disturbs and seduces me: the interplay between life and death.
The series thinks about life and death, love, the wisdom of nature, the lineage and descent, the woman ́s power; about the photography as art and as a magic substitute and about art as some kind of religion: another way to resist death.
b. 1982, Villa María, Argentina.
Leticia Bernaus is a visual artist from Argentina living and working in Chicago. She has a Bachelors degree in Filmmaking from the Universidad del Cine (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Her book of photographs and personal essay “Zoobiografía” was published in 2015. Her work has been exhibited in Argentina, Brazil, United States, Spain, England and Italy. Bernaus is the recipient of several awards including: IILA-FOTOGRAFIA 2017, Rome, Italy; Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, London, England; PHOTOALICANTE 2016, Alicante, Spain; Mosaicografía 2016, Porto Alegre, Brazil. In 2016, she was awarded a fellowship to participate in the Visual Artist’s Summer Studio Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Bernaus is a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts in Photography program (expected 2019) and recipient of the University Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago.