artist / participant

press release

This month, The Jewish Museum opens an installation by Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Valeska Soares as part of the ongoing series "Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings," which brings newly commissioned contemporary art to the Jewish Museum's Skirball Lobby. Titled Time Has No Shadows, the piece features a large vintage carpet onto which poetic texts are placed, with antique pocket watches hanging down from above. On view through April 21, 2016, the installation draws on the artist's enduring fascination with the subjectivity of time and language, and investigates the history of Jewish migration and resettlement.

Time Has No Shadows evokes the Jewish Museum's history as a family home, while also referencing the diasporic nature of the Jewish people. She was particularly drawn to the carpet, which would have been rolled up and carried from place to place, and thus has historically been a medium for creativity and storytelling. Bringing a carpet into the Museum's lobby also recalls the building's early history as the Warburg family's mansion in the early 1900s, when the grand entrance was ornately outfitted with outsized furniture and a room-filling carpet.

Soares's artworks are often assembled from antiques and used materials, like those included in this work. This process of recirculation gives new life to the discarded and disused, and adds to the stories accumulated across their scratched and faded surfaces. In Time Has No Shadows, poetic texts are placed on the carpet in a spiral shape, with a subtly altered antique pocket watch hanging above each text. These revisions and alterations add yet another layer to the enigmatic histories of these timeworn items, inviting visitors to contemplate their own narratives for the installation and the objects within it.

About the artist Born in 1957 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Valeska Soares is a contemporary artist who currently lives and works in New York City.

Using organic and man-made elements, Soares produces ephemeral sculptures that reference spirituality, mortality, eroticism, time, and language. The depth and complexity of her work is magnified by the use of intimate materials such as clay, flowers, perfume, pocket watches, and antique furniture. Soares received her Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Santa Úrsula, Rio de Janeiro, and a postgraduate diploma in the History of Art and Architecture from the Pontifical Universidad Católica. Soares transitioned to a fine art practice and had her first solo exhibition in 1991 at Rio's Espao Cultural Sprig Porto. Shortly after, she moved to New York and completed an MFA at the Pratt Institute.

This exhibition is organized by Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator and Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs.

The "Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings" series is made possible by the generous support of Wendy Fisher.