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Fabrica by Lia       Menna Barreto

Fábrica by Lia       Menna Barreto

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Lia Menna Barreto

Fábrica by Lia       Menna Barreto


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Lia Menna Barreto
(b. Rio de Janeiro, 1959; lives and works in Porto Alegre, Brazil).

Lia Menna Barreto uses dolls, plastic toys, and other children’s trinkets as her primary media and transforms them through various techniques from sweet, sentimental objects into unsettling, often mutilated artworks. In Sleeping Doll she plays with the concept of the "pajama bag" doll, which has been stretched into an oversized fuzzy pink pelt large enough for the artist to climb into. Its plastic face grotesquely dwarfed by its newly expanded girth, the doll hangs on the wall like a hunter’s trophy. Suggesting a primal desire to return to the womb, it nevertheless demonstrates the futility of the desire to recapture a prenatal sense of security and warmth.

In another series, Menna Barreto fuses swaths of flowing silk, bought in the local markets of PĂ´rto Alegre, Brazil, with the plastic toys and flowers that she collects, she often fuses them together using a hot, heavy iron to melt the toys onto the fabric. From the mid-1990s on, she produced works utilizing melted plastic puppets. She often mixed dolls with plastic animal toys, flowers and leaves melted under heat and stuck to silk fabrics, which were then hung vertically on the exhibition room walls.

Her interest in simulacra, dolls, toy cars and animals, and artificial flowers is apparent in most of her work. She takes these symbols of childhood and affection, and relocates them in another representational context by disassembling and reassembling them.

In this 2004 interview, curator Virginia Gil Araujo speaks to Lia Menna Barreto about the process of creating her recent work.

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