Virginia de Medeiros

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Feira de Santana, BA, 1973 – Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil.
Represented by Galeria Nara Roesler.
PIPA 2014 nominee.
PIPA 2015 Winner.
PIPA 2015 Popular Vote Exhibition Winner.
PIPA Nomination Committee Member 2016 and 2019.

The work of Virginia de Medeiros centers on documentary strategies as a means to transgress mainstream accounts and question the boundaries between reality and fiction. The artist deals with three themes within the fields of art and documentation: dislocation, participation, and fabulation. Adapting documentary images and lived accounts, she employs the latter for subjective and conceptual use to revise the representation of reality and alterity. De Medeiros works primarily with video and audiovisual installations, always seeking to combine the languages of art and media and expand aesthetic and technological possibilities to achieve new modes of expression.

In 2006, “Studio Butterfly” was selected for the Programa Rumos Itaú Cultural, and, that same year, it was selected for the 27th Biennial. In 2009, she participated in the residency program “International Women for Peace Conference” in Dili, East Timor and, in 2007, she had a residency at Centro de Artes La Chambre Blanche, in Quebec, Canada. In 2009, she received the Rede Nacional Funarte Visual Arts award for the video “Fala dos Confins” which was later acquired, in 2013, by the Cultural Centre São Paulo .Also in 2009, she was the recipient of the Rede Nacional Funarte Visual Arts award for “Jardim das Torturas,” and the Prêmio de Residência ICCo (Instituto de Cultura Contemporânea) residency award at Residency Unlimited in New York, USA. In 2010, she participated in the 2nd Triennial of Luanda: “Geografias Emocionais, Arte e Afectos”. In 2011, she participated in the 32nd Panorama da Arte Brasileira at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo.

“Sérgio e Simone” (2009/2014), selected for the 31st São Paulo Biennial (2014) and recipient of the ICCo residency award at the 18th Festival of Contemporary Art Videobrasil, documents the life of Simone, a transvestite who lived at the Ladeira da Montanha in Salvador, the capital of Bahia. Like most the residents of the borough, Simone was an avid drug user. However, after a crack overdose, she suffers a mystical delirium causing her to “find God” and circumvent death. From this episode onwards, Simone abandons her identity as a transvestite, retakes her baptismal name of Sérgio, and becomes an avid evangelical preacher in a delirious quest to save humanity.

Critical Texts


To learn more about Virginia de Medeiros, please visit her full profile on the PIPA Prize website.