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ALL FINALISTS / CLARISSA TOSSIN

Clarissa Tossin

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location
grew up in Brasília, the Brazilian capital designed in the mid-20th century as a metropolitan utopia, which influenced her career as a visual artist. She uses moving-image work, installation, sculpture, and collaborative research to engage the suppressed counter-narratives implicit in the built environment and explore alternate narratives that come to define a place. Recent solo exhibitions include Circumnavigation Towards Exhaustion at Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France (2021) and The 8th Continent at the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University (2021). Tossin is based in Los Angeles.
Move Left
Move Right
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A Queda do Céu (The Falling Sky)
Material: Double-sided, laminated archival inkjet prints, wood, and window adhesive vinyl
Dimension: 38 × 28 × 23 in. (96.5 × 71.1 × 58.4 cm)

Born in Brazil, Tossin often reflects on the Amazon rainforest’s importance in modulating global climate. A Queda do Céu shows satellite images of fires in the Amazon and the Amazon River, along with NASA images from the Amazonis Planitia plane in Mars and the Milky Way, re-woven into geometric grids that resemble those found in industrial monoculture agriculture. Like planets of a new system, the mobile-like sculpture hints at a post-apocalyptic future.

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A Queda do Céu (The Falling Sky) (detail)
Material: Double-sided, laminated archival inkjet prints, wood, and window adhesive vinyl
Dimension: 38 × 28 × 23 in. (96.5 × 71.1 × 58.4 cm)
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Becoming Mineral
Material: Ceramic
Dimension: Approx. 7 in x 4 in x 1.5 in. (18 x 10 x 5 cm ) each

Using scraps of clay from her studio, Tossin cast death masks of her own face during the pandemic lockdown. The piece mourns the death of humanity as a collective body inhabiting an Earth affected by technology and pathogenic threats. This work is a reminder that all organic beings return to the earth to eventually become mineral, and that they too could become part of a clay body.

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Becoming Mineral
Material: Porcelain
Dimension: Approx. 7 in x 4 in x 1.5 in. (18 x 10 x 5 cm ) each
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Disorientation towards Collapse (Heavy)
Material: Amazon delivery boxes and wood
Dimension: 47 × 61 × 1 1/2 in. (119.4 × 154.9 × 3.8 cm)
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Disorientation towards Collapse (Heavy) (detail)
Material: Amazon delivery boxes and wood
Dimension: 47 × 61 × 1 1/2 in. (119.4 × 154.9 × 3.8 cm)

This piece is made entirely of Amazon boxes, a ubiquitous material. Through the laborious process of flattening the boxes, cutting them into strips, and weaving them together, Tossin transforms a disposable item into something to be contemplated, creating a commentary on the cycle of mass production, consumption, and waste on which our lives depend.

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All That You Touch, You Change
Material: Plaster, cement, foam, resin, urethane, rocks, aluminum foil, and silicone
Dimension: Diam. 25 in. (63.5 cm)

Conscious of her carbon footprint, and envisioning the material remains of a post-apocalyptic Earth, Tossin fuses nondegradable leftover materials from her studio to make sculptures. Inspired by Octavia Butler’s futuristic world in which a group of alien-humans restarts civilization in the Amazon rainforest, Tossin brings together the organic, the handmade, and the cosmic.

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The Only Lasting Truth is Change
Material: Plaster, cement, foam, urethane, silicone, and aluminum foil
Dimension: Diam. 12 in. (30.5 cm)
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