Rita Sobral Campos

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Artist Statement

Humor and satire can serve as incisive analytic tools for social critique. In my stories, Metaphor and Simile might walk into a bar and pick a fight with Realism over which figure of speech conveys the world as it is—with all its imperfections. Or perhaps two Numbers may be found discussing the revolutionary nature of the Hiccups, sworn enemies to the tyranny of Airflow in the respiratory system. Still yet, Time and Narrative may decide to confront Jump Cut and demand it stop interfering with their linear train of thought, for in conjoining things meant to be separate, Jump Cut upsets the natural order of things. My artistic practice seeks to reveal, (playfully) mock, and subvert the subtle absurdities of that which is taken as self-evident. In the 16mm films, my use of inter-titles develops the narrative thread, while constructions of wood and concrete symbolically represent the different players. From science fiction pulp novels to classic works of literature, from newspaper articles to scholarly studies in philosophy, history, science, and religion, a disparate array of sources informs my work.

By deploying the tradition of absurdist writing and embracing anachronistic forms, my characters are able to subvert conventional wisdom. They interrogate social norms, group ethics, and unexamined prejudices, and in doing so they open up potential deviant plots, illogical reversals, and farcical misadventures. These stories challenge hierarchies, complicate gender, confuse borders, and confound the laws of nature.



Born in Lisbon, Portugal, 1982. Lives and works in New York, US


2004 – 2006 Master Degree in Fine Arts at School of Visual Art, New York

2002 – 2004 Bachelor Degree in Art History, FSCH – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon

1997 – 2002 Advanced Degree in Fine Arts, Ar.Co Art School, Lisbon

Solo Shows

2013 Neon Medieval, Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna

2012 For the Madman the Neighbor is Himself, CAGE, New York

2012 Artists Reading, with Isla Leaver-Yap, CAGE, New york

2009 Teletransporter, Pedro Oliveira Gallery, Porto

2008 Unclehead, in collaboration with Alexandre Singh, EDP Foundation, Lisbon

2006 The Archivist: Heterotopia, Pedro Oliveira Gallery, Porto

2005 Structural Schizophrenia ou quando a mentira se tornou verdade, Culturgest, Porto

Selected Group Shows

2014 Performance and Publishing, event part of the New York Art Book Fair, New York

2014 Tracuum, Parc Saint Léger-Hors Les Murs, Nevers

2014 Soft Shock, Eli Ping Frances Perkins Gallery, New York

2014 Marquee Moon, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York

2014 Not for all my little words, Marc Straus Gallery, New York

2013 Tournament d’object, Charlottenberg Kunsthal, Copenhagen

2013 Brigadoon, La Tôlerie, Clermont-Ferrand

2012 Estate, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

2012 Modules hosted by Liz Magic Laser, MoMA-PS1, New York

2011 Short Stories, Sculpture Center, New York

2011 Memory of a Hope, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool

2011 Poetical Things That Are Political, Museu do Chiado, Lisbon

2011 Dear Thick and Thin, ME Contenporary, Copenhagen

2011 Modesty, Backerstrasse 4, Vienna

2011 FUSO 2011 Festival, Lisbon

2011 Agora Não / Not Yet, , The Barber Shop, Lisbon

2010 Impressões e Comentários: Artistas e Fotógrafos no Portugal ContemporâneoI, Sala Parpalló, Valencia

2010 When your Lips are my Ears, our Bodies become Radios collective performance organized by Jan Verwoert, Zentrum Paul Klee and Kunsthalle Bern

2010 A Vernacular of Violence, Invisible-Exports, New York

2010 25 Frames por Segundo em Moçambique: vídeos da colecção da Fundação PLMJ, 5th edition of DOCKANEMA Film Festival, Centro Cultural Brasil Moçambique, Maputo

2009 On Rituals of Homecoming, curated by Adam Budak, Lodz

2009 E-flux video rental, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon

2008 Emily Harvey Foundation, New York

2008 18 presidentes, um palácio e outras coisas mais, Belém Palace, Lisbon

2008 Lá Fora, EDP Foundation, Lisbon

2007 O Debuxo nas Colección Públicas de Santiago, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago Compostela

2007 50 Years of Portuguese Art, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

2006 A Brighter Day, James Cohan Gallery, New York

2006 A Delicate Arrangement, David Zwirner Gallery, New York

2006 Prime Time, Visual Arts Gallery, New York

2006 Arquivar Tormentas, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago Compostela

2006 Dirty Words, Pedro Cera, Lisbon

2005 GPO31031405, Pedro Oliveira Gallery, Porto

2005 Uma extensão do olhar, entre a fotografia e a imagem fotográfica – Fundação PLMJ, Coimbra Visual Arts Center, Coimbra

2004 EDP Young Artists, Belém Cultural Center, Lisbon, Portugal

Grants and Fellowships

2014 Second Homes, Parc Saint Léger, Pogues-les-Eaux

2013 Lenikus Residency, Vienna

2011 Residence Suddenly, Île-de-France

2010 Sommerakademie, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern

2004 – 2006 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation / Luso-American Development Foundation

2002 Orient Foundation /Ar.Co / RTP – Portuguese National Broadcasting Company


Amado, Miguel. 18 Presidentes, One Palace, and a Few Other Things. Lisboa: Presidência da República, 2008.

Amado, Miguel, Miguel Wandschneider. Structural Schizophrenia – ou quando a mentira se tornou verdade. Porto: Culturgest, 2005

Bembekoff, Marc. Ceci n’est pas une résidence. Beauchery-Saint-Martin: Residency Suddenly, 2012.

Gregorio, Peter. Vector Magazine Issue 3. New York, 2014.

Humphrey, David. A Brighter Day. New York: James Cohan Gallery, 2006.

Morais de Andrade, Rita. 20 years of Sala do Veado. Lisboa: Museu Nacional de História Natural, 2011.

Pinharanda, João. Portuguese Artists Abroad. Lisboa: Presidência da República/Fundação EDP, 2010.

Sobral Campos, Rita. For the Madman the Neighbor is Himself. New York: Sputnik Press, 2011.

Sobral Campos, Rita and Orit Gat. Portfolio. New York: Bomb Magazine, 2014.

Tullet, Barrie. Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2014.

Verwoert, Jan, Stuart Bailey. When your lips are my ears our bodies become radios. Bern: Sommerakademie, Zentrum Paul Klee, 2011.

Yi, Anicka, Jordan Lord, Lise Soskolne and Carissa Rodriguez. The Politics of Friendship. Zurich: Studiolo / Edition Patrick Frey, 2013.

Selected Bibliography

2010 Amado Miguel. Rita Sobral Campos. Artforum. (Jan 2010). [ill.]

2010 Carlin, T.J. A Vernacular of Violence. Time Out New York (June 17 – 23, 2010). [ill.]

2010 Coburn, Tyler. A Vernacular of Violence. Art Agenda. (June 12, 2010). [ill.]

2010 Russeth, Andrew. A Vernacular of Violence. Artinfo. (May 13, 2010)

2010 Truong, Hong-An. Capital Offense? ArtSlant. (June 2010). [ill.]

2009 Nunes, Leonor. Rita Sobral Campos: Análise do Poder. Jornal de Letras. (March, 2009). [ill.]

2008 Sardo, Delfim. O Real, Inventado. Revista Única (September 2008). [ill.]:8

2008 Sneed, Gillian. Unclehead at Museu EDP. NYArts [ill.]