Curupira et la machine du destin
Janaina Wagner (BR, FR)
Curupira et la machine du destin
Film -

Shot in the village of Realidade, on the BR-319, in Brazilian Amazonia, Curupira et la machine du destin is a story of love and revenge involving two figures from different historical periods who exist at the frontier of fiction and reality: Curupira and the ghost of Iracema. The film is an excerpt from the encounter in present time between Curupira, a queer devil who protects the Brazilian forest, and Iracema, a cabocla prostitute aged fourteen, a fictive character from the film Iracema: Uma Transa Amazônica, made by Jorge Bodanzky and Orlando Senna (1975). The ghost of Iracema falls in love with the image of Curupira and, at the intersection of the roads straight from Amazonia, throws herself into her quest to materialise a prophecy, like a kind of backwards Prometheus myth: burying fire by bringing it back to the earth; evoking Curupira and avenging the future.

Janaina Wagner
Janaina Wagner Brésil, France
Promotion André S. Labarthe

Janaina Wagner was born in São Paulo, Brazil. An artist, journalist and video teacher for children, she holds a master’s degree in artistic- political experimentation (SPEAP). Working with installation, video, photography, books, drawings, screenwriting and painting, she explores the points of friction between the human and its constructions. She looks at forms and subjects that refer to the relations of limit, control and contention that man establishes with the world, as well as with finitude in itself. Wagner has benefited from several artistic residencies, such as FID Campus - Festival International de Cinéma de Marseille (Marseille), Festival Mondes Possibles - Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers (Paris), Bolsa Pampulha (MG, Brazil), Red Bull Station (SP), Casa Tomada (SP), Anarcademia, (W139, Amsterdam) and NES Skagaströnd, on the rural coast of Iceland.

Holder of diplomas fine arts and journalism and a master’s degree on the Artistic and Political Experimentation programme, and a video teacher, her references concern the procedures whereby humanity inscribes and articulates its progress and its heritage. Janaina Lives and works between Roubaix and São Paulo.


2017 Pivô Pesquisa – Pivô (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)
2017 Centre Les Récollets (Paris, France)
2016 RAM – Residência Artística Mutuca (Altamira, MG – Brazil)
2016 Bolsa Pampulha (Belo Horizonte, MG – Brazil)
2015 Red Bull Station (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)
2015 Casa Tomada + Fresh Milk Barbados (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)
2014 Residência Phosphorus 2014 (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)
2013 COMO Clube (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)
2013 Projeto Residência – 12o Festival de Arte Serrinha (Bragança Paulista, SP – Brazil)
2013 NES (Skagastrond, Iceland)
2012 Anarcademia, W139 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
2011 Projeto Experiência, Itaú Cultural (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)

2017 Floresta – Museu do Esquilo (Ibiuna, SP)
2016 Criatura – Oficina Cultural Oswald Andrade (São Paulo, SP – Brazil)
2015 Decupagem/ Crônica de um final anunciado – Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto – MARP (Ribeirão Preto, SP – Brazil)

2018 Festival Mondes Possibles - Centre dramatique national Nanterre-Amandiers (Paris, France)

2018 14o Festival Hors Pistes - Centre Pompidou (Paris, France)

2017 Ensaio de Tração - Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil)
2017 Bestiário - Centro Cultural São Paulo - CCSP (São Paulo, Brazil)
2017 Mágica – 13 Festival VERBO de Performance – Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, Brazil)

2017 Bad Video Art Festival – A3 Gallery (Moscow, Russia)

2016 Mon Cher Magma – Atelier W (Paris, France)

2016 Permanências e Destruições – Torre H (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

2015 Galeria Transitória – Red Bull Station (São Paulo, Brazil)

2015 Concrete Matter – Warm (São Paulo, Brazil)

2014 4o Prêmio EDP nas Artes – Instituto Tomie Ohtake (São Paulo, Brazil)
2014 32th Coopy RIghtOTs - 8. Salon (Hamburg, Germany)

2013 4o Prêmio Belvedere de Arte Contemporânea – Galeria Belvedere (Paraty, Brazil)

2013 The New York Art Book Fair – MoMA PS1 (New York, United States of America)

2012 Anarcademia, W139 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

2017 - Independent Program of Museu de Arte de São Paulo PIMASP - MASP - One year formation program (São Paulo, Brazil)

2016 Drawing and Cinema – Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo – Special student at the Master program of Visual Poetics - ECA - USP (São Paulo, Brazil)

_2013 Bachelor at Pedagogy in Fine Arts - Faculdade Santa Marcelina - FASM (São Paulo, Brazil)

  • Scénario: Janaina Wagner
  • Interprétation: Vitória Pereira
  • Image: Carine Wallauer
  • Montage image: Yuyan Wang, Janaina Wagner
  • Son: Marcela Santos
  • Montage son: Yannick Delmaire, Thomas Pichon
  • Mixage: Yannick Delmaire
  • Accompagnement artistique: João Pedro Rodrigues, Emanuele Coccia

Production : Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains

Thématique : La terre et le ciel Thematic: Earth and heaven

Soul and body, the frontiers the fractures between, material and immaterial, the games that offer to abolish them. Here, the real and the virtual are together on a high wire. The empiricist philosopher David Hume wrote: “all the materials of thinking are derived either from our outward senses or from our inward feelings: all that the mind and will do is to mix and combine these materials.”3 In Panorama 23, there is not the choice of a fervent idealism or a marked taste for the magic of illusions but, rather, a response to the reality of the world through experience. The question here is how to support our creative power over what enables us to conceive this response, neglecting none of its dimensions, and especially not dream. This does not satisfy itself with the physical accomplishment of flight, though this is so close to oneiric legends. What is not possible with this rising sign, this elevation?
An aeroplane, a glider, present in one of the works, are no longer the assemblages of Icarus or simple mechanisms but mental vehicles, translations, from one nature to another, telling us a great deal about our ability to live “elsewhere,” above a horizon, giving another illumination to the connection of the synapses in our cerebral lives.
The transformative energy projects us beyond. Overflowing the ecosystem between heaven and earth, it generates the consciousness of a body, henceforth a living parcel of the cosmos. This cosmic body is solidly attached to the days and hours of our lives, led by a permanent ambulation within space, comprising unstable territories of memory and forces impelled to who knows what shore. If we do not control them, it is because we are between the choreographies that tie and untie them. We belong to a history of our bodies but we are constantly exceeding it for universes that we seek to inhabit or in which we project ourselves on visible or invisible screens. In these films, human beings are born or expire. I can barely hear their breath. Their eyes are closed. They are sleeping. Are they immersed deep within themselves, fascinated by humoral tones, blood circulation, the secretions that they are the only ones to secretly see, like so many solitary spectators? Are they contemplating their abstract nature, their internal territories, their colourful ballets, their multiplications or disappearances?
We must, then, let go the codes of reality and go for the real itself and its multiple manifestations, away from the lexicons. The body is no longer before us. It has been transformed into an obscure handful, a terra incognita or a tree, Terence Malick’s Tree of Life, whose lines we imagine being traced from the interlacing of its roots to the blue of the sky. A strange genealogy whose central character is birth.
There is in Panorama 23 a dream that spreads from the inductions of nature. They are at once the actors, their dreams and the stages that host them. What matters is that between the lines, each slip, each gap, each absence, each tempest, each eclipse, sets the rhythm going again. What is essential is confidence in a continual genesis that the music accompanies ostinato, a sonorous spiral that, abandoning itself to its own movement, fills all the space and offers us a slow marvelling. The blooming of a flower, of writing, of a creation, magnifies this space by virtue of the surprise and the beauty of their growth. The fascinating growth of a rose, of a full colour. Rosy-fingered dawn, the pink of flesh, Goethe’s pink, Guston’s pink. Gertrude Stein’s: “ A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose…”
This desire, this pleasure, this jouissance offer our body the chance to be bigger than itself, animated by the oceanic feeling or the infinity of a sky without limits, of a summit, of a colour, without an attribute. This colour may be the blue of the sky, as per Georges Bataille, or Franck Venaille, the white of the cosmos or again the secret green of a blade of grass, infinitesimal in the universe. This secret is what artists invite us to discover. The secret as source of emotion and poetry. Is it hidden in the carpet, does it move through the tangles of Panorama, this labyrinth of works? It is what bestows power on art, as Anne Dufourmantelle points out: “It is a motive force whose creativity we struggle to explain. Its connections to memory and language, particularly in its relation to dream, are the subject of investigations and experiments that lead us to rethink the imagination. […] The secret that is revealed in the imaginary is never a sacking or a wresting, it is a world of light and shadows where we move like an animal,4 by instinct […] The secret remains the feature that effectively links the life of desire and the possibility of receiving it offered by the real. We therefore suppose the real to reveal a desire to which it offers a possibility of fixation and repetition. By linking different moments of our life, by day and by night, the secret life of our desires puts its face on our pleasure. Is it not that extra-verbal fixation of an image? How then can we reveal it without imperilling it, the fragile edifice of a freeze-frame and therefore the freezing of time on which it rests.
The installations and films in Panorama reveal this, by “linking the different moments of our life by day and by night.” They are seeking an image and, at the same time, dismantling it, freeing themselves from it in order to touch a non-grammatical and therefore all the more mobile material. I perceive it but I cannot translate it. Rather than looking through its statements, I dwell on blanks in discourse, its blind spots, its erasures, in truth, once more on its utter-ance, whose staccato rhythm says more than the illu-sion of a narrative. That is why, in this Panorama, the most advanced technologies nod to the rudimentary, “basic” or vernacular techniques of art brut. That, I believe, is where we can find proof of the creative power of the secret. It prevents us from saying and thus allows us to create by taking routes off-piste.
On this subject, Anne Dufourmantelle writes: “What constitutes its power is also being beyond good and evil. Constructing itself at the very beginning of our relation to language, it is not unfamiliar with moral consciousness but it exceeds it. It imposes within us its key value, that is to say, what it barters, what it increases in contact with the real, and spreads through the interfaces of lack, frustration, expectations, in the delights of dream, of the first touch, of the first sensations, first visions.”
Eclipses, distractions, but also the presence of a space-time inserted between two worlds, of a hybrid body or a body escaping like the wolf’s body. In these “marginal” territories everyone is confronted with the void, with disorders of the wind that blows over, with mirages and the siren songs of the Odyssey. More than on the road or signposted routes, we are “in the middle of the crossroads,” seeking “what is to come.” In art it is never the programme but always the archipelago of experiences that matters, the pre-sentiment of consciousness of a choice. Some works reassure us by giving us the certitude of seeing, until the feeling that what is close is edging away, that meaning is becoming obscure. Sight that is raised in this way no longer catches the motif but becomes blurred, deliberately blind in order to return to the real “differently,” not in direct apprehension but in the mazes of the secret we are looking for. From now on, it is not about seeing but the liberation of a mental energy that detaches itself from the object and puts into play a polymorphous, sensual approach.
And now, art allows us to “touch” the heart, the skin of the real, in the knowledge that both will vanish into the night of images where, between heaven and earth, we set off, feeling our way, seeking them out: the heart, the skin…
Olivier Kaeppelin