Exhibitions

Marilyn Monroe – The Myth | Telma Saraiva – Searching for a Myth | from 26/01/2008 to 23/03/2008

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Introduction

When Geraldo Jordão called me for the first time, I was in Spain, where I had gone, as President of the Institute of the Imagination of the Brazilian People, to put together an exhibition of popular art in the Valencia Biennial. He had become acquainted with the Estação Art Gallery and had proposed an exhibition: Marilyn Monroe – The Myth. What a temptation! How to resist a Hollywoodian myth? It was at this moment when I remembered cearense Telma Saraiva and her quest for these myths. Telma had fascinated me ever since I saw her for the first time, in an exhibition of popular portraits at the State Pinacothèque. Not by chance, her photopictures were also being shown at the same Biennial Exhibition in Valencia, from which I had just left. Immediately I thought of the Cariri star having a dialogue with the Hollywood star. This would be an unprecedented meeting that would surely be worth it! Without thinking twice, I telephoned Geraldo and told him about my idea. As there was the Atlantic Ocean between us, I could only imagine his reaction. However, as an intelligent man related to the world of creation, he gave me hope by saying: “We’ll think about it”. From there to the official invitation for Diogenes Moura to be our curator was just a hop. The result is here.

Vilma Eid.

 

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Curator


When Crato Goes to Hollywood


A rare meeting between two stars shall bring together the real and the imaginary worlds. Marilyn Monroe and Telma Saraiva shall be seen at the same place for the first time in Brazil. Telma Saraiva, a photographer who lives in the city of Crato, has materialised a dream on turning herself into a Hollywood star based on a series of self-portraits and photo-paintings, without ever having crossed the borders of Ceará. The exhibitions Marilyn Monroe – The Myth and Telma Saraiva – Searching for a Myth, which shall be held at the Estação Art Gallery in São Paulo between January and March 2008, in a partnership between the Rio Institute and the Institute of the Imagination of the Brazilian People, shall be the most original contribution of Brazilian popular art together with the last photographic session of Marilyn Monroe, clicked by photographer Bert Stern, in a suite at a Los Angeles hotel. This shall be the solemn moment in which Telma Saraiva shall see, reflected in the mirror, her “other myself”, Marilyn Monroe.


Photographer Telma Saraiva has lived in Crato ever since she was born. She followed in the footsteps of her father, photographer Júlio Saraiva who, as an exercise so that his daughter could learn to read more quickly, suggested she went to the cinema to follow the subtitles of the films. Telma learnt how to read and also how to dream. This was the early 1940s and she wanted to be like those beautiful women who were inside the cinema exhibition rooms. Then, in her teenage years, she started to collect the A Cena Muda (The Scene Changes) and packages of Lever soap which had, as collectable gifts, cards with colour photographs of the Hollywood goddesses of the time. So, then she decided that she would also be a star: she started to photograph herself, always in black-and-white, and then, with paints imported from the United States, she would colour the images, one by one. Each portrait would have the details of the star she would like to be: the wardrobe, the make-up, the hairstyles, the eyes, the eyelashes, the hands, and the poses that would turn them into objects of desire throughout the world. Thus, in the heart of the Brazilian sertão, a diva arose starting out from herself: Telma Saraiva idealised and started to be Scarlett O’Hara, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor and also the most sought of all, Marilyn Monroe.


The curatorship of the exhibition brought together Marilyn Monroe and Telma Saraiva, to continue with the research work of the Institute of the Imagination of the Brazilian People, with the main aim of identification, disclosure and preservation of the expressions of popular art in Brazil. These exhibitions shall bring together some 150 pictures, both colour and black-and-white, and shall be completed with an exclusive presentation by Cristiano Mascaro, at the home of Telma Saraiva.


Diógenes Moura


 

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Release

Marilyn Monroe – The Myth, Telma Saraiva – Searching for a Myth.


At the ESTAÇÃO ART GALLERY. Open from 25 January at 8 p.m. to 16 March 2008. Under the curatorship of Diógenes Moura, a rare meeting between two popular stars shall bring together the real and the imaginary world: Marilyn Monroe and cearense artist Telma Saraiva shall be seen in the same location for the first time in Brazil. Telma Saraiva, a photographer who lives in Crato, State of Ceará, has materialised her dream of becoming a Hollywood star, based on a series of self-portraits and photo-paintings, without ever having set foot out of her native Ceará. This is the slogan: a dialogue between the star that the whole world once desired, Marilyn Monroe, and another star, this one anonymous, who got to know her myths in a dark cinema exhibition room and who, based on her photo-paintings “reached” the glories of Hollywood. The exhibition with the title of Marilyn Monroe – the Myth, that presents Telma Saraiva – Searching for a Myth, shall be held at the Estação Art Gallery between January and March 2008, in a partnership between the Rio Institute and the Institute of the Imagination of the Brazilian People. The meeting between Marilyn Monroe e Telma Saraiva, which brings some 150 pictures, both colour and black-and-white, shall be the most original contribution by Brazilian popular art, together with the last photographic session of Marilyn Monroe, clicked by photographer Bert Stern, in a suite at a Los Angeles hotel. This shall be the solemn moment in which Telma Saraiva shall see, reflected in the mirror, her “other myself”, Marilyn Monroe. After passing through the Modern Art Museum (MAM) of Rio de Janeiro, the exhibition “Marilyn Monroe – The Myth” comes to São Paulo with this new approach given by curator Diógenes Moura who, on bringing together the two meanings of “popular”, makes evidence the true amplitude and power of the term. This part of the exhibition shows 60 photographs of the actress, from the collection of Bert Stein, who did Marilyn’s last photographic shoot, six weeks before her untimely death at the age of 36, on 5 August 1962. The photographs show that the great diva of cinema is still an icon of sexuality and an incomparable myth, even 45 years after her passing. Bert Stein, a New York photographer who had been in Japan during the War, worked for the famous Look agency and also advertising agencies, dreamed of the possibility of revealing Marilyn Monroe, the icon of sensuality of all times. On returning from Rome, where he filmed Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Cleopatra, Stern had three questions ready for his agent. Would Marilyn Monroe agree to be photographed by him? Does Vogue want the photographs? Has the magazine already published a photographic trial with the actress? The answers triggered the moment – yes, yes and no. Stern kept the negatives safe until the early 1980s when he published books outside the United States. Last year, some of these photographs were seen at the Maillol Museum, in Paris, France. This was when the editor Geraldo Jordão Pereira, from the Sextante publishing house, impressed with the sheer beauty and impact of the exhibition, decided to bring it to Brazil, as a new way of getting funds for the Rio Institute, which manages the “Vera Pacheco Jordão” fund, the first community fund of the country, which carries out more than 60 social projects in Rio de Janeiro’s West Zone. The institution shall receive part of the income from the “Marilyn Monroe – The Myth” project, which also involves the publication of a book with the pictures of the exhibition, a text penned by Bert Stein himself and a presentation by Diógenes Moura, the curator of this exhibition at the Estação Art Gallery and the head of photography at the São Paulo State Pinacothèque. In contrast, photographer Telma Saraiva has lived in Crato ever since she was born. She followed in the footsteps of her father, photographer Júlio Saraiva who, as an exercise so that his daughter could learn to read more quickly, suggested she went to the cinema to follow the subtitles of the films. Telma learnt how to read and also how to dream. This was the early 1940s and she wanted to be like those beautiful women who were inside the cinema exhibition rooms. Then, in her teenage years, she started to collect the A Cena Muda (The Scene Changes) and packages of Lever soap which had, as collectable gifts, cards with colour photographs of the Hollywood goddesses of the time. So, then she decided that she would also be a star: she started to photograph herself, always in black-and-white, and then, with paints imported from the United States, she would colour the images, one by one. Each portrait would have the details of the star she would like to be: the wardrobe, the make-up, the hairstyles, the eyes, the eyelashes, the hands, and the poses that would turn them into objects of desire throughout the world. Thus, in the heart of the Brazilian sertão, a diva arose starting out from herself: Telma Saraiva idealised and started to be Scarlett O’Hara, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor and also the most sought of all, Marilyn Monroe. The “Marilyn Monroe – The Myth” project, on establishing a dialogue with the work of Telma Saraiva, continues the research work of the Institute of the Imagination of the Brazilian People, which has the main aim of identifying, disclosing and preserving the expressions of popular art in Brazil. Press information: Pool de Comunicação – Marcy Junqueira, Telephone ++ 55 11 3032-1599, e-mail: marcy@pooldecomunicacao.com.br.


Information:


Marilyn Monroe – The Myth | Telma Saraiva – Searching for a Myth, Exhibition from 26 January to 23 March 2008. Curatorship of Diógenes Moura


 


 


 





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