Anna Bella Geiger’s installation Circa (2006) questions the convention of dating in archaeology and paleontology, as a form of narrativisation. The work resembles an archaeological site with pyramidic structures, rocks and ruins, yet it is a fabrication, showing how humans’ intention to historicise the past can also distort it. The work – with its intimations of the Middle East, the region where monotheism was born – calls attention to the construction of historical narratives, and our imprecise understanding of their trajectories. The artist has written, ‘facts may be imprecise in the reconstitution of time, but the content is precise.’

A pioneer of video art in Brazil, Anna Bella Geiger (b. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1933) is also one the great exponents of first generation Latin-American conceptual artists. Her trajectory, continuously marked by ruptures and a multiplicity of themes and methods, began in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Geiger participated in biennials held in São Paulo (1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1998), Venice (1980), Havana (1997), and Porto Alegre (1997). Recent solo exhibitions include Anna Bella Geiger: Videos, 1974–2009, Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro (2009); Works in Archipelago, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2005); On a Certain Piece of Land, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing (2005); Anna Bella Geiger: Constelações, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (travelling) (1996–97). She received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1982) and won several awards. Her work is held in important collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.


Circa, 2006/2019
Video installation
Variable dimensions
Courtesy the artist.
Presented with the support of Consulate General of Brazil in Istanbul.

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