The implacable vertically of the metropolis’s skyscraper in place of the vertebral column. The green of the leaf in place of the tongue. The fake image of a commercial smile in place of a real smile or of a restrained sorrow. In this fifth edition of the FF>> Dossier we display the work of Lia Chaia, which generates sense and significance through these unexpected displacements that feature in her works.

Her art is expressed through different media like photography, performance, video, painting, and installations. It often questions the fast, ephemeral relations of the city, the body and its representations. It also claims new temporalities, an in Rede [Hammock] (2003), presented in the Sábado de Performances (Saturday Performances) at the Galeria Vermelho. In this performace, Chaia lies in a hammock in the open space of the gallery and stays there for three hours. New, slower temporalities in contrast to the velocity of our time.

The time issue is also present in other works that express its transitoriness, as in the series of photographs Castelo de areia [Sendcatle] (2002), presented in the exhibition Experiências com o corpo (Experiments with the body) at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo. This series displays the artist trying to build and rebuild a sandcastle in a beach. Time appears reconstructed in 103 little photographs. A king of almost-cinema showing the movement of the waves destroying the castle that is incessantly rebuilt.

Sometimes, time is experimented as duration. In the incisive video Desenho-corpo [Drawing-Body] (2002), the artist draws on her own body with a red pen until the ink finishes. The whole action takes 51 minutes and it not only reveals a surface-body, but also and mainly a body connected to the duration of the device that makes the inscription on the skin.

In other works, it is the city that seems to inscribe itself on the body as a surface that covers and approaches at the same time, as in Coluna [Column] (2003), a photograph that displays the scaring vertically of the skyscrapers on the back of the artist herself. The relations between the city and the body are also present in the series of photographs Madrugada [End of The Night] (2003), which displays the artist as an almost mythical being, naked in the empty city. A heroine of the end of the night, the diffuse passage between night and day that allows the appearance of imaginary beings.

Chaia’s varied work is also expressed through paintings in site-specific installations as in Vereda [Swampy Vegetation] (2004), presented in the programme Sítio (Site), promoted by Base 7 Projetos Culturais (, in São Paulo. In this work, the artist paints the walls green; afterwards, she covers the green walls with concrete; before it hardens, she draws innocent leaves as a background to a series of totems with photographs of plants cut in geometrical forms.

Be it through photography, video, performance or painting, Lia Chaia’s works intensely express the relations between time, the body and the city. We have the pleasure to present her works in this fifth edition of the FF>> Dossier.