Cinthia Marcelle

Cinthia Marcelle, installation view, 10. Berlin Biennale, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Lendários do CCSP (Legendaries of CCSP), 2008, courtesy Cinthia Marcelle; Galeria Vermelho, Silvia Cintra + Box4, Sprovieri Gallery, photo: Edouard Fraipont

Legendaries (2008–ongoing), realized for the 10th Berlin Biennale as 1st Meeting of the Legendaries at KW Institute for Contemporary Art/Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2018), unpacks the labor processes at work in cultural institutions and historical landmarks that exist precariously, as we all do, inside capitalism’s web.

The work follows a specific agenda, beginning with the identification of fourteen employees or “regulars” of a given institution, not necessarily its “stars.” The regimented process for the work includes the facilitation of social moments, for instance a formal invitation of these fourteen to an official ceremony—a brunch or a cocktail evening—during which a group portrait is eventually taken using an analogue medium-format camera. Although this authenticated photograph mimics the stoic quality of typical institutional archiving, these images gain a performativity, alluding to the complex community-based forces that are always the covert currency of institutions.

In essence Legendaries is a gesture of recognition. Abandoning the insularity of a straightforward institutional critique, the work gestures towards the people who have helped shape the character of a given institution as a step in the direction of abandoning modernist institutional mythology. In addition, this focus on a handful of individuals ultimately hints at something very powerful: a shift in the mode of engagement with institutions—investing in sociality as the home of everyday knowledge practice and culture-making.

—Thulile Gamedze

  • KW Institute for Contemporary Art


Cruzada, 2010
Video, color, sound, loop, 8′35′′
Producer: Katásia Filmes
Director: cinemata
Camera: Maurício Rezende
Steadicam: Bernard Machado
Camera Assistant and Grip: André Machado
Production: Clarice Lacerda
Production Assistants: Arnaldo Fabbri, Fabrício Marotta, Hortência Abreu, Laura Berbert, Túlio Batitucci
Driver: Antônio Helio
Water Truck Operator: Walter Santos
Sound: Daniel Quintela
Sound Assistant: Rodrigo
Sound Design: Milagros Vazquez
Editing: Maurício Rezende
Stills: André Machado, Gabriel Batista Campos, Thássia Alves
Music Director: Fernando Santos
Music Research: Vilson Rodrigues de Oliveira
Musicians: Bruno Dutra do Amaral, Celso Viana, Claudio Starlino de Oliveira, Dácio Souza, Eli Mossat, Elias Antonio da Costa, Fabiano Andrade Oliveira, Geraldo Manoel Pereira, Geraldo Rodrigues do Bom Conselho, Herli Preira da Silva, Isaque Edson Macedo, Leandro Cruz Najar, Marcelo Ricardo dos Anjos, Ricardo Patrício Pereira, Vilson Rodrigues de Oliveira, Wesley Silva Moura
Courtesy Cinthia Marcelle; Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo
With the support of Construtora INPAR; Escola Municipal Anísio Teixeira; Valores de Minas
Thanks to Árvore em Preto e Branco; Secretaria de Cultura de Minas Gerais

From the series Legendaries, 2008–ongoing
1st Meeting of the Legendaries at KW Institute for Contemporary Art/Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2018
Analogue photography, metal plaque, document
Courtesy Cinthia Marcelle
Commissioned and produced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
With the support of Goethe-Institut e. V.