Daura Campos (she/her) is a Brazilian, self-taught, multidisciplinary artist based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Via destruction and care, her process with 35mm film, creates photography, painting, and moving-image works that honor the experiences of sexual and gender minorities.
Her selected awards include the Art Vue Foundation Yearly Prize (special mention), The Alternative Art School Brandy’s Juried Fellowship, the FORGE Fellowship, and the CuratorSpace Artist Bursary. Furthermore, she was a Hemi Convergence Convener for the New York University and the University of Chicago.
Daura has exhibited her photographic work at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK, Gallery TPW, Toronto, Canada, the Analog Film Photography Association, Orlando, USA, Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada, Experimental Photo Festival, Barcelona, Spain, among others. Her images were displayed on billboards in Times Square, Los Angeles, Chicago, USA, and Toronto, Canada.
Her moving-image work was screened in South and North America at the Museum of Art of Pereira, Pereira, Colombia, Cinema Belas Artes, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the Avant Garde Cultural Center, Bogotá, Colombia, at the No Nation Art Lab, Chicago, USA, and others.
I am a visual artist who defies traditional power structures around identity and artmaking through dissident bodies of work. Via destruction and care, my process with 35mm film explores brokenness and healing, while honoring the experiences of sexual and gender minorities.
By incorporating my exposures in site-specific ingredients I further anchor the photographs in the context of where they were created. I cook my film with regional recipes, and submerge it in toxic solutions, adjusting my process as the film responds.
I use the film and ingredients as my canvas and paint and create “Photographic Paintings” that push back against the notion that photography must be representational, while painting can be abstract. I make images that refract this world and create new ones.
My images are survivors. They exist despite and because of how much damage they endured. My work is traumatized. My work is healing. Those who encounter my artwork are welcomed to a safe space to grieve. Somewhere they are visible, and their experiences are valid. At the same time, when viewers engage with my work they are doing the same for me. Their engagement allows my mourning, their gaze makes me visible and their understanding is validating to me.
My work is a trauma survivor, it exists despite and because of how much damage it endured. My work is traumatized. My work is healing.
Via destruction and care, my process with 35mm film works through brokenness. The film and I make the work together, my process doesn’t only represent trauma, it creates it.
I submerge my exposures in toxic chemical solutions, boil them using ingredients that are familiar to me, bathe them in cold water, and let them rest in the sun for weeks. Is the water too cold? Is the sun too hot? Is the soup too lemony? I listen to their response and I adjust for their relief.
When encountering the artworks, survivors have a safe space to grieve, be visible, and have their experiences validated. At the same time, when interacting with the work they do the same for me, I grieve, I am visible and I am validated by their gaze.