Lara Demori

Information about Lara Demori


About Lara Demori

Dr. Lara Demori, Goethe-Institut fellow at Haus der Kunst, was awarded a Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on artists Hélio Oiticica and Piero Manzoni, which investigates the emergence of postmodern art practices from a transnational perspective and discusses the shift from representation to performance at the turn of the sixties. Researcher on the discursive-exhibition chapter "Postcolonial Art: 1955–1980" at Haus der Kunst, Lara Demori is currently examining the practices of a few Latino/a and Latin American women artists working in between 1965-1985, focusing in particular on the representation of pregnancy. Lara Demori has published articles and book chapters and participated in numerous international conferences. In 2015 she organized the international conference ‘Possibilities of exchange: Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art’ in collaboration with The Fruitmarker Gallery, Edinburgh and she is the organizer of the symposium ‘Decolonizing Third World Feminism: Latin American Women Artists 1960-1980’ at Haus der Kunst.

ABSTRACT

Transnational influences in the Marta María Pérez Bravo’s series Para concebir (1985-1986)

Marta María Pérez Bravo was the first artist in post-revolutionary Cuba to investigate the female body creating a thick web of cultural, religious and political references. She did so adopting the photographic medium, which bears the legacy of Cuban recent political history: I am referring for example to Alberto Korda who, through photography, conveyed images of the revolution and propagated the canonical portraits of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro among others.

In a similar documentary vein, Pérez Bravo has used photography as a testimonio of her gestation in Para concebir (1985-1986), and of birth, breast-feeding, and child rearing in Recuerdo de nuestro bebé (1986-1987). As observed by scholar Gerardo Mosquera, the photograph No matar, nir ver matar animales (Neither Kill, Nor Watch Animals Being Killed, 1986) from the series Para concebir – where the artist brandishes a knife against her pregnant belly -  is perhaps the most well-known Cuban photograph after those of Che Guevara.

This paper aims to investigate the anti-romantic iconography of gestation represented by Marta María Pérez Bravo in the aforementioned series, emphasising her will to render through the narrative of a personal experience and a crude portrayal of the pregnant female body mythical beliefs embedded in the Afro-Cuban religions of Santería and Palo Monte. Concurrently, this talk aims to reconnect Pérez Bravo’s practice with the history of Cuban photography of the twentieth century.