Veridiana Leite
  -  Art   -  USED TO BE A DANCER – NowHere Lisbon
Legend has it that the American anarchist writer Emma Goldman challenged the canons of the anarchist cause with her joy of dancing freely at balls, because in the eyes of her fellow (men) in struggle, it was not befitting for an agitator to dance. “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everyone's right to beautiful and radiant things,” Emma wrote in her autobiography Living my Life (1931). The phrase If I cant dance I don't want to be part of your revolution sums up her battle for the right to live her ideal of struggle and became a kind of feminist motto. However, we could also extend this maxim to confront Eurocentrism. In the western world, there is a certain distrust of the people who articulate dance in various instances of daily life, as life on this side is organized in a different way. Joy, the sway of the body, the spontaneity of movements and bodily interaction are interpreted as frivolity, lack of seriousness, exacerbated sexuality since, from the European perspective, mind (reason) and body (feelings) must be separated. The separation between body (culture) and nature is another binomial that structures Western thought. Coming from the other side of the Atlantic, we are here to challenge it all.

I Used to be a Dancer is a manifesto exhibition by Veridiana Leite. The title may lead many people to explicitly expect the presence of dance in her paintings or even of performance in the artist’s first solo exhibition at Espaço NowHere, but this evocation exists to emphasize the centrality of her dancing body in pictorial work and the intertwining of life. and art (yes, artist studied various types of dance since childhood). His imagery vocabulary is based on his experiences, that is, in the landscapes visited, in the landing places, in the moments experienced, in the objects and beings found along the way. It is a migrant painting, fragmented, in movement, which reports events, tracks and displacements of the artist's body in the world, even if in a codified way, in addition to referring to the fusion between human and non-human existence. The opening point of this show is the circle painted in the center of the back wall, a sun that is made from the measurements of Veridiana's body, in repeated circular gestures, as in a choreography. As is known, the sun is the most spherical object in the galaxy and is the main source of life on planet Earth, being worshiped by countless civilizations that have dedicated or dedicated rituals to it. Fractals, paintings, drawings and lines orbit around this sun/body creating an immersive installation, an offering by the artist to the universe. The solar radiation is amplified through the gallery by waves of color and narrative triggers, transforming themselves. There are always elements that communicate and spread from work to work.
Solar is a word that has multiple connotations and that can define this apparently diverse set of works: either for the energy and luminosity, or for the expansiveness and joy of the shapes, patterns and colors, or even for the meaning of the solar verb (the art of executing a solo in music, the high point of a composition). Martha Graham stated that one never dances alone (there is always at least one absent partner), and we can observe, therefore, that the solo performed by Veridiana Leite has as dance companions many beings, events, images, cadences and entities. She never stopped dancing. The revolution will be dancing or it will not be.

Cristiana Tejo

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