Watch: Conversation with Fellow Sofia Borges, Nominator Vivian Gandelsman, and former Fellow Diane Samuels, moderated by Advisor David Karnovsky
São Paulo, Brazil
Will be working in Jerusalem with IDBAA School of the Arts
SOFIA BORGES is a conceptual artist that for over a decade uses the photographic medium to study philosophical notions on the relation between matter and meaning. More than seeking an answer for the unsolvable of what an image is, her always-self-curated exhibitions aim to present the very impenetrable of this question. Throughout the complexity of the relations found amongst the works, the mere act of representation arises, as a staging-abysm, coming from what the artist defines as abstract-figurativism in photography.
Borges received her BA in Visual Arts from the Universidade de São Paulo in 2008, receiving five art awards for her artistic research and production. From 2009 to 2011 Borges was selected by Rumos Itaú Cultural, highlighted by the Bolsa Iberê Camargo, won the Premio Porto Seguro de Fotografa, was nominated to the Foam Paul Huf Award 2010 and in 2011 her work was featured in the Modern Art Museum of São Paulo. In 2012 Sofia was the youngest artist invited to the 30th São Paulo Biennial. In 2013, she was nominated to the BES Photo Award, once again to the Foam Paul Huf Award, was granted with the acquisition prize of Centro Cultural São Paulo, and also presented solo shows in Mexico City, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon and São Paulo, and featured works in Rio de Janeiro, Denver and Oslo. In 2014 the artist was for the third time the Brazilian nomination to the Dutch Foam Award and presented her works in London, Los Angeles, Lyon, São Paulo, Doha and Beijing. In 2015, besides solo show in Paris and group shows in Brazil, France and Canada, Sofia developed the No Sound, her first experimental project as curator and since then she has been engaged in developing her research about image in collaboration with writers, philosophers, musicians and other artists, transforming her exhibitions even more in spaces of investigation. In 2016 Borges won the British First Book Award with her project The Swamp, inspired by her exploration of the prehistoric caves in the South of France. The book was launched together with a solo show at Photo London 2016. In 2017 she presented a solo show in Athens and was granted the Bolsa ZUM from Instituto Moreira Salles. In 2018 Borges presented her work at Being: The New Photography exhibition at MoMA and was engaged as curator at the 33rd São Paulo Biennial. In 2019 the artist was awarded the Foam Talent 2020 Dutch Award. Currently engaged with research mixing theatre, alchemy, mythology and performance, besides the solo show January 2020 in Vienna, the artist is developing a new series of Performances.
Borges’ extensive field of research started inside prehistorical caves, zoo and study centres about palaeontology, archaeology and natural history, as well as inumerous sorts of museums. After an extensive research span of seven years photographing and researching the boundaries between mimesis and matter within the context of cultural representation, in the last years her practice reached new frontiers by mixing photography with performance and collage under concepts coming from mythology, metaphysics and alchemical fire.