From the studio: Caroline Mesquita

Studio Visit

Inside the studio: Caroline Mesquita, Marseille

T293: Your main artistic mediums are sculpture, through which you represent life-size humanoid characters and industrial or technological machines, and video, where you frequently include yourself. In your projects, the two are often combined in a theatrical and engaging scene. Can you explain the choice of the size and the composition?

CAROLINE MESQUITA: The size of my artworks is often the same size of the real objects, for example in the airplane, the motorcycle and even the sculptural characters. The sculptures are usually realized with the same material as the objects they represent and I love to believe there is a sort of a biased relationship in this ambiguity between the real object and the sculptural one.
Regarding the theatrical aspect, my video installations originate from a desire to find out the story of these characters beyond the exhibition period. When the show ends and the works are de-installed, they continue to exist in a “free” dimension. The idea of creating a video related to the sculptural works, is to prolong the existence of the characters beyond the limited time of an exhibition.

T293: What kind of connection there is between the characters you create in your sculptures and videos and yourself?

CM: I spend quite a long time at the studio alone. For that reason, I began to notice that we develop an almost affective bond with the objects, the plants and animals. Inevitably, I develop a sort of connection with my sculptures as well. I believe this is about my condition as an artist, we have our own form of solitude. The reason why I started to produce videos is also somehow related to this position: I wanted to show this affective connection with the sculptures.

T293: In your sculptural work you mainly use metal, that undergoes different oxidation experiments. An interest in the exploration of material and its transformation over time is something very present in your practice, why?

CM: Yes, exactly. The ability of metal to eternally transform itself is the reason why I privilege this as sculptural medium. Metaphorically, it represents the possibility to reinvent myself and my work every time.
I try to transfer this idea of renovation in my video-works as well, as it allows a continuous development of the identity of the characters (which are all played by one actor) figured in the videos.

T293: What about the strong playfulness aspect in your work?

CM: I love this immediacy between the idea and its realization, which offers me the possibility of producing a lot of objects and characters that can play with each other. This never-ending return to the game, is something that I am very interested in and it is very present in my work.

T293: Have the lockdown and the pandemic impacted somehow your work? How do you envision the change that will follow?

CM: France started the lockdown on March 17th and a couple of days later I was supposed to go to Brazil to open a solo show at Pivô space in São Paulo, entitled « IN VIVO ». The installation I was going to install represents a microorganism, an architecture in which you can enter and you can watch a film, a ballad inside a human body, in which we can find many microorganisms like some bacteria and, (ironically) a virus. The funny thing is that the exhibition was about this thematic, virus, bacteria, a real coincidence. But answering your question, I believe we all have lost something: our certainties, our optimism, and we developed a sense of anxiety. I believe that our condition as artists is already very uncertain, full of doubts. I still don’t know how it will affect me and my work on a long-term, but the project “tone” is always a question for me. In some situations, we want to talk about some aspects in a more dramatic fashion, or otherwise, attribute some lightness to a dramatic subject. So I believe that that “tone” question, what we choose to show is very interesting and it’s always a question for me, in any situation.

Interview realized in July, 2020
Caroline Mesquita,Romeo, 2022
Caroline Mesquita


patinated brass
15 × 94 × 24 cm (45 ¼ × 37 × 9 ½ inches)
CAME:S 8044, Caroline Mesquita,Silvia, 2022
Caroline Mesquita


patinated brass
104 × 80 × 28 cm (41 × 31 ½ × 11 inches)
CAME:S 8050, Caroline Mesquita,Giorgio, 2022
Caroline Mesquita


patinated brass
102 × 62 × 27 cm (40 ⅛ × 24 ⅜ × 10 ⅝ inches)
Caroline Mesquita,Georgia, 2022
Caroline Mesquita


patinated brass
108 × 98 × 24 cm (42 ½ × 38 ⅝ × 9 ½ inches)
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