In the "Ecolines" series, Maureen Bisilliat presents photographs taken in the 1960s on travels through Brazil, later modified by interventions made with Ecoline ink. The process consisted of enlarging the black and white photographs and "dyeing them" using an intuitive method, resuming the painting practice that she developed in her classes at the Arts Students League, during the 1950s in New York. The photographs, which were in pause for sixty years in the artist's archives, were found in 2019 and underwent a series of processes. They were scanned, printed at a reduced size, photographed again and finally printed on a larger scale than originally enlarged. These "inks" and "refotographies" produce ambiguities in the structure of the image as such: between the elements of the composition - through the play of light and colors -, as well as between the limit of the image as a surface and as an object, referring to the materiality of the analog photography.
Born in England in 1931 and living in Brazil since 1957, Maureen Bisilliat is responsible for a photographic investigation of more than fifty years. After studying Fine Arts in France and in the USA, she settled down at the city of São Paulo in the 1950s, initially working as a photojournalist in the magazines "Realidade" and "Quatro Rodas" in the 1960s. In her ten years of working for Editora Abril, she could photograph different contexts in Brazil, producing essays that become famous, among them “Caranguejeiras”, in which she depicts women crab hunters in the mangrove of Livramento, a village located in the Brazilian state of Paraíba. The curiosity for a still unknown Brazil during the 1960s was related to a fascination for Brazilian literature and results in a long duration project that Bisilliat classified as “photographic equivalents” with the literature. Between 1960s and 1990s she produces a series of photography books in dialogue with the works of Jorge Amado, Guimarães Rosa, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, João Cabral de Melo Neto, Ariano Suassuna, Adélia Prado and Euclides da Cunha.
In 1970 she held a research grant in Guggenheim's Foundation. She was the curator of the Sala Especial XINGU DA TERRA, installed in XIII Bienal of São de Paulo (1975). In 1985, she presented in a special room of the XVIII Bienal de São Paulo an essay based on the book “O turista aprendiz”, by Mário de Andrade. In the 1980s she started to dedicate herself to audiovisual production, launching in 1981 the documentary “Xingu/Terra”, filmed with the photography director Lúcio Kodato, in a mehináko village in Alto Xingu.
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