Renata Padovan – “Para Saber Onde Está Pisando” (To Know Were You Stand)

Renata Padovan – “Para Saber Onde Está Pisando” (To Know Were You Stand)

“Para Saber Onde Está Pisando” (To Know Were You Stand)

Renata Padovan.

August 6th –  September 10th


In the last two decades, the work of Brazilian artist Renata Padovan narrates the consequences of anthropogenic transformations on the landscape. Navigating between landart and art engaged with socio-environmental issues, her work has a strong denunciatory character. Captivated by what is ephemeral and transient, the artist creates memories about life’s state of impermanence, documenting the impacts of natural resource exploitation and the construction of mega-infrastructures, the foundations of neoliberal capitalism.

The piece “Para Saber Onde Está Pisando” (To Know Were You Stand) stems from a drawing, a graphic representation that seeks, on a macro scale, to bring a new sensitivity to the destruction of the Amazon. After being transferred onto canvas, the drawing was hand embroidered in wool, by artisans from the state of Pernambuco.  Representing the Amazon area as a biome, the artist maps the deforested regions in red, protected forests in green and indigenous lands in ochre, while gray areas correspond to oil blocks. The white areas, shown within the external limits, refer to non-destined public forests, which are public lands susceptible to speculation, invasions and squattings. The piece establishes a counterpoint between the act of constructing the work, expressed by weaving, which is manual and feminine, with the act of destruction, which is male and mechanized.



The installation ‘Irreversible’ presents a legacy of destruction and impunity, linked to the history of colonization of the Amazonian rivers for the production of energy, revealing the real socio-environmental cost of hydroelectric plants in the Amazon. The artist creates an immersive environment about the Balbina Dam disaster, the first in a series of large hydroelectric plants built in the Amazon basin in the 1980s. After more than thirty years, such constructions continue to be imposed by State policies, despite their devastating impact on local communities and ecosystems.





The  exuberance of the landscapes created by Renata Padovan contaminates our senses. At first glance, we are awakened by a feeling of contemplation and pleasure. When we take a closer look at the composition, we enter a dark area. The artist offers spectators a lyrical view of a ruined, transmuted and decaying world, a ghostly landscape created by a failed attempt to dominate nature.


Lilian Fraiji