Exhibited in the Brazilian Pavilion of the 2019 Venice Biennale, Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s film-installation Swinguerra is presented for the first time in Paris at the MEP studio.
The title, Swinguerra, refers both to a musical rhythm originating from Bahia (Swinguiera) and to combat (guerra). The viewer watches dancers rehearsing while their movements are scrutinised both by a choreographer, and rival dancers. Little by little the sports arena in which they rehearse is replaced by a space of fantasy. The two-channel installation, in which the screens face one another further reflects this sense of confrontation.
In this work, Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca celebrate identities that are rarely visible or often marginalised in Brazil. Made in close collaboration with the dancers, for the most part black, queer and/or transgender from the region of Recife, Swinguerra raises basic questions of inclusion, acceptance and above all pride in the LGBTQ+ communities.
Collaborating since 2011, Bárbara Wagner (b.1980, Brazil) and Benjamin de Burca (b. 1975, Germany), make work at the frontiers of fiction and documentary.