Rosângela Rennó

born 1962


Rosângela Rennó Gomes (Belo Horizonte, MG, 1962) is a Brazilian artist who lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Her work consists of photographic images from public and private archives that question the nature of an image and its symbolic value. With the use of photographs, installations and objects, she appropriates and sheds new light on an anonymous body of photographs and negatives found mostly in flea markets, family albums, newspapers and archives. Rennó's interest in discarded images and habit of collecting were decisive in establishing her work strategies.

Rennó aims to generate interest in what she calls “the little stories of the downtrodden and the vanquished” (Rennó, 2004). These stories include the “inglorious” episodes of history, the shameful events of the past that successive Brazilian political regimes would like to gloss over, which she says can be found or uncovered in the “lowest categories of the image”: vernacular photography, identification shots, portraits. Rennó does not take photographs herself instead she recycles existing photographs of this kind.Rennó’s decision to recycle photographs is influenced by the ideas of Czech photo-theorist Vilém Flusser who lived for many years in Brazil as well as the German photographer and theorist, Andreas Muller Pohle.  In particular, Muller Pohl’s idea of ‘an ecology of images’ informs Renno’s practice of conserving and recycling images that already exist.

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