Regina Parra,
Regina Parra, "Deserto-pano de cena" (2022-2023), work from the exhibition "Pagã", at Pina Estacão. Photo: Christina Ruffato

On display on the second floor of Pina Estação, the exhibition Pay, Regina Parra, is as multi-referential as the artist herself, who, from 2000 to 2003, was assistant director to Antunes Filho (1929-2019), one of the most important figures in the history of Brazilian dramaturgy, before beginning her career in the visual arts. To materialize in painting, sculpture, neon, video and performances the idea of ​​a woman's journey of self-discovery, she started from a literary ballast – The passion according to GH, a 1964 novel by Clarice Lispector – and another, imagery one, namely the Vila dos Mistérios, buried by the ashes of the Vesúvio volcano, in Pompeii, in the 2nd century BC. C. In the exhibition, Regina Parra mixes visual and scenic arts.

In Vila dos Mistérios, Regina’s constant source of inspiration in the universe of Greco-Roman mythology, there is a series of frescoes that “tell the story of a young woman who goes beyond the satyrs’ portal and offers herself to Dionysus, god of theater, wine , fertility, nature”, according to the description of curator Ana Maria Maia, in the exhibition catalogue. “This young woman's path involves descending to the animal level, literally falling to the ground [...], losing her knowledge of the repertoire acquired until then. Only after that will she be able to return to human form and be reborn as a maenad”, writes the curator.

Based on the archetype of this young woman, Regina, whose work The sinful (2022) was the cover of issue 61 of arte!brasileiros, created the character Pagã, who gives the exhibition its name. And the result of his disturbing artistic investigation is a synthesis of theater and visual arts, divided into nine scenes, which do not necessarily obey a plastered exhibition path, proposing, rather, a labyrinthine circulation, also in an allusion to the myth of Ariadne, the princess of Crete who helps the Athenian hero Theseus escape the Minotaur, a creature part man, part bull that inhabits a construction of intricate paths, for the protection of the population.


Pay it was not born from a proposal by the Pinacoteca de São Paulo to Regina Parra. Its genesis took place over a few years. The artist says that, shortly after Antunes’ death, in 2019, she did an “exercise of looking back”, thinking of the “great master” he had been for her, and realized that much of her creative processes came from this experience. In theatre. Something that, however, she did not “embrace or assume” for herself.

In 2018, Regina had started a series of residencies, all in New York: that year, with an award from SP-Arte, she had done Residency Unlimited, in Brooklyn; then at Annex_b in 2019; and, finally, at The Watermill Center Residency Program, Watermill, in 2020. In time: this last residency takes place in an interdisciplinary laboratory founded in 1992 by American director Robert Wilson, a prominent name in world experimental theater.

“I went to this third residency with the aim of rescuing that theatrical side that was under the rug and integrating more everything I did”, says Regina. “After Antunes' death, in 2019, I did an exercise in looking back, thinking about the great master he had been, and I realized that a lot of my creative processes came from that experience. Something that, however, I did not embrace, did not assume”.

In 2021, after her time at Watermill ended, Regina completed another residency, this time at the Monira Foundation, in New Jersey. At the time, Regina made some of the first paintings that we now see in her show: those of the satyrs and the triptych of Pagan. She was also already sketching out a way to bring those creations into a space, offsetting them from walls. She made models and experimented with ceramics, “trying to understand what that project would be”. At that time, she also read The passion according to GH

At first, he made brief notes, but, as he read on, the book began to “resonate with great force” along with his ideas. Upon finishing the novel, Regina decided that the project should also be structured around the book, but not as a representation of the text in the form of an exhibition, but rather the narrative of a woman's journey, as Clarice had done in her text, a character who dives “into life and its materiality from contact with a cockroach”, he says.

Back in Brazil at the beginning of 2022, Regina presented her project for a “dismembered play” to Ana Maria Maia, her former colleague from the Masters, and to Jochen Volz, general director of the Pinacoteca. Both embraced the proposals, materialized now in the exhibition, whose expography is also a key element in its conception.

“In my studio, things happen precisely in an integrated way. There was never any separation between the references,” she says. “But when the results were taken to an exhibition, something happened that I don't like: the painting was limited to a painting hanging on the wall, in an atmosphere of reverence that bothered me. I understood that I wanted to change all that in terms of the environment that houses the works, hence the idea of ​​a dismembered piece”.

Pay brings excerpts from The passion according to GH that do not “appear like literature, but a bit like the lines of a character”, explains Regina. The exhibition is then divided into scenes: in Prelude, a first passage from Clarice's novel: “It was a woman who lived well”; then on Called, the character, “abandoning his life”, gets “calmly on all fours”, and begins his journey, protected by satyrs, “by a wisdom of the flesh”, as the subtitle of the exhibition indicates.

Then there are eight more scenes: Hours of perdition; Secret; Minotaur; the goat's song; Desert; If I give the alarm call of being alive, in muteness and hardness they will drag me; Mistério e The taste of the living or the vision of infinite flesh. The scenes presented through sound installations, neons, mannequins, paintings, videos. To emphasize the theatrical character, Regina created ceramic pieces, entitled Wearable-Prosthetics-Addresses, to be worn by visitors.

“The idea is that the public can use them while visiting the exhibition”, explains Regina. “One of them is a kind of horn, which is worn around the neck; it also has a vest, a tail, and a paw, to be placed on the foot. They are heavy pieces on purpose, and don't fit the body very well, not to be mere decorations. They convey the idea that in theater you have the opportunity to get rid of yourself and be a thing or a person. The prop changes your way of walking and your posture, it changes our way of being in the world”.


Born in 1984, in São Paulo, Regina Parra began her professional career in the performing arts at the Center for Theater Research (CPT), later becoming Antunes Filho's assistant director. Then, she graduated in Fine Arts, at Faap, and did a master's degree in Art History, at Faculdade Santa Marcelina (FASM), with curator and critic Lisette Lagnado as advisor.

Since the beginning of her career in visual arts, Regina has worked in an interdisciplinary way, working with different supports: photography, video, performances, painting and installation. Immigration and femininity are some of the topics she focuses on. as in Pay, the female body is recurrent in her creations, like the series lustful (2018) and The Dangerous (2019), part of the exhibition Bacchante (2019), presented at Galeria Millan, in São Paulo.

He had his first individual exhibitions in the 2000s, but accelerated his production in the following decade, with a prolific sequence of exhibitions, among them I stand up, at the Marcos Amaro Art Factory (FAMA). Outside Brazil, he participated in collective shows in Argentina, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal and the United States. Last year, she made her debut on the circuit of international fairs, with Jaqueline Martins gallery, at Paris Internationale. His works are present in relevant national collections, from institutions such as Masp, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Associação Cultural Videobrasil and Pinacoteca de São Paulo, among others.

Regina just released her artist book Here I amBy Family Editions, will present a new session of performances linked to Pay at Pina Estação, on the 3rd of June and, the following month, he leaves for another residency, lasting two months, in Maine, United States. Prolific, she is also beginning research for a project in partnership with artist Ana Mazzei, called Exemplary stories of meat. “We are still at a very early stage of the project, and the residency will be a time to try out the first ideas”, he concludes.

Cover of the artist's book by Regina Parra, "Here I am" (Familia Editions, 2022)
Cover of the artist book by Regina Parra, “Here I am” (Familia Editions, 2022)
Payby Regina Parra
Curator: Ana Maria Maia
Until 13/08
Pina Estação – Largo General Osório, 66, São Paulo – SP
Visitation: Wednesday to Monday, from 10 am to 18 pm
Free admission





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