Resident: Marcella França

The Face Of The Rain Teaser2 from Marcella França on Vimeo.

Marcella França, The Face of The Rain (2020) © Courtesy of the artist.

Project concept: The Face Of The Rain

Curator’s Words

Jessica Riley | Ed. Peter Traynor |  25 March 2022

Marcella França’s artistic practice utilises a multidisciplinary approach to create powerfully evocative and immersive experiential art that speaks to the physicality of the human form. Through her multimedia form and hybrid language of dance, digital technologies, and visual art, França expands the conventions of art to create a new extended reality in which the viewer is immersed. 

The influence of ecofeminism on França’s work is powerfully evident in her exploration of the connection of the human form to the natural element of rain. Ecofeminism is rooted in the interconnection and mutual respect between femininity and nature and the identification of patriarchal systems that exert unjust dominance over both women and the natural world. Ecofeminism identifies the historical designation of both women and nature as chaotic and irrational beings in need of control, in opposition to the characterisation of men as rational, ordered, and capable of directing both women and nature, as the means through which patriarchal systems have been able to manifest and exploit which both women, marginalised groups, and the natural world. For example, both colonialist and capitalist expansions have asserted and justified their dominance through the creation of these binary oppositions that reflect and perpetuate paternalistic and patriarchal values. In response to this, ecofeminism recognises the close relationship between women and nature through cyclical biological processes such as menstruation or pregnancy and supports an egalitarian worldview that re-values non-patriarchal and non-linear structures to respect organic processes and promote respect for women and the natural world. The interrelation between women and nature is reflected in França’s exploration of the force of rain and the female form. The female body is integral to the artwork of The Face of Rain, creating a deep interdependence between the natural force of rain and the human body to show that these two entities are not in a binary opposition but, rather, inherently tied to one another.  

Through the realisation that we are all born from water and become rain after our death, França evokes a deeply poetic experience that encourages introspection and reflection on the nature of the universe and our relationship to nature. This fundamental connection of the human body to nature and the artwork creates a profoundly immersive and embodied experience. Mixing the performance of dance with visual art and digital technologies transports the viewer into an extended and expanded reality through which time is relinquished from linear frameworks and can take on the fluidity and volatility of water. 

França’s project The Face of Rain offers a poetic experience about mourning as her character tries to revive her father’s presence by interacting with the rain, and in this immersive emotional search, the artwork provokes the following questions:

  • What is the face of the rain?
  • Can the face of the rain be from any experience on this planet?
  • Can the past and the present coexist in the same instant of life?

França’s innovative exploration of these themes in The Face of Rain, through her multidisciplinary artistic language, promotes the experience of the body as an integral component of viewing the art of this exhibition, moving beyond visual connection to elicit a powerfully embodied understanding of art that connects with the viewer on a profound level.

VR Exhibition in Hubs Mozilla

Conversation between artist, Marcella França, and Digital Curator, MiMi (recorded on 5 April 2022)

Current exhibition

Marcella França, How Can We Dance While the Earth Is Burning ?  (2021) under the theme – ́ (Resilient Voices-Pathways), Montréal – CA

2 April – 30 June 2022: Marcella França (2021) How Can We Dance While the Earth Is Burning ?,  Art Souterrain, 14th Edition, in Montréal – CA

Artist’s Portfolio

Marcella França, The Face Of The Rain (2021) © Courtesy of the artist.
Marcella França, Matter and Fluid (2021) © Courtesy of the artist.

About the artist

Marcella França (1977, Brazil) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal, Canada. Her practice for more than two decades mixes experience in hybrid projects about art and new technologies. Trained first as a dancer, painter, and video artist, França holds a BFA in Visual Communication specializing in audiovisual and experience projects. Followed by a post-graduation in Video Dance – Movement’s Aesthetics.

França mixes new technologies, such as generative and interactive effects and extended realities (AR, VR, and movement sensors) to create digital art such as full-dome, interactive and immersive performances, and installations.

She has exhibited in numerous places as SAT – Société des Arts Technologiques (Montréal Canada), Montréal en Lumière Festival, “Oi Futuro”, a New Media Art Center (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and Optica Festival (Spain and Paris), participating as an artist in residency at McGill’s Intelligent Machines Laboratory and collaborating as a VJ in Internationals Videomapping Festivals such as MAPP MTL, Vide Urbe and I-BiT Mapping.

Artist’s Statement

The water element is the main basis of Marcella França artistic research. She explores the physical-chemical aspects of water, such as fluidity, volatility, materiality versus immateriality, and correlate them with philosophical concepts such as impermanence, memory, movement, and life, to create artworks that talk about decolonial issues, ecofeminism, ancestry, and, more recently, immigration. The artist gives visibility to those subjects, through the hybridism of her artistic languages.

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