Marcia Vaitsman

Brazilian Multi-disciplinary artist

01.04.2019   - 30.06.2019

Marcia Vaitsman, PhD, is a multi-disciplinary artist born in Brazil and currently based in New Jersey, USA. Her key interest is in the practice of games as perceived experiences, and how games relate to art. This she will explore through themes of displacement, migration, and how both the body and the mind cope with disorientation during her 3-month residency at SomoS.

Exploring the body in situations of chance and unpredictability, Marcia Vaitsman utilizes maps of erratic geography, images of memory, proto-images, and expressions denoting impermanence. Since 2001, she has been studying how art and games are related. She is currently developing 3 games working with the themes of: longevity, loneliness and resilience.

As she explains,

The games are inspired by three people who crossed my life this year, and for whom these games are initially for, before letting the themes supersede the individuals.. from the fragments of information and perception, unavoidable preconceived ideas should be scrutinized, in a strong exercise of speculation and empathy. The resulting works are playable board games that combine narratives, objects, rules of how to play the games, and methodology of how to contemplate reality, which includes the reality of ‘Others’. The materiality of the game board (itself) is an important aspect of the work.

Marcia Vaitsman, Artist’s Statement


Marcia Vaitsman’s latest project is influenced by two pivotal works by other artists who work with games and play; a bio-architectural piece titled ‘Elastic Net’ (1974) by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, and ‘Interchange’ (1968) by German artist Franz Erhard Walther. These have inspired her exploration of new forms of interaction between two participants; of bodies and objects, and the role of the public in these interactions.

The artist aims to complete the first of her project games, “Longevity” (working title), during her 3 month residency at SomoS Arts Berlin.

Marcia Vaitsman holds a PhD in Contemporary Art, Multiculturalism and Feminism, with distinction, from the Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal (2017). Additional academic awards and qualifications include a Diploma in Audiovisual Art from the Academy of Media Arts of Cologne (KHM), Germany (2002), a Bachelor of Social Communication with a major in Broadcast from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil (1998), and an MFA in Photography with the additional award of a 2 year Frances Larkin McCommon fellowship from SCAD, USA. (2000).Further acknowledgements include the Prize Mostra de Artistas no Exterior from the Biennial of Sao Paulo Foundation, several project grants from FUNARTE, Brazil and from UNESCO-Aschberg, France. She also completed a six-month artist in residence at IAMAS (Institute of Advanced Media Art and Science), Japan. In 2003 Vaitsman was the winner of the Projeto Cria de Casa photography award at Espaço OPHICINA, São Paulo, Brazil.

Vaitsman has held solo exhibitions at GlogauAIR, Berlin, Germany 2018 (Game of Islands, Rivers, Airports and Ghosts); Paço das Artes, São Paulo, Brazil, 2016; Casinha #3 in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2015; Small Acts of Kindness at Whitespace, Atlanta, USA, 2015; and MediaScan: Giant Waves at Centro Cultural, São Paulo, Brazil, in 2013.

Selected group exhibitions include The Game Show at Bullet Space, New York, 2018; Biennial of Cerveiras, Portugal, 2015 and 2017; Imago Mundis, MESC, Florianópolis, Brazil, 2017, Homeless Monalisa at Galeria do Colégio des Artes, Coimbra, Portugal, 2015, and Exquisite Corpses at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, USA, 2014.

Vaitsman has completed artist residencies at De-Construkt in Brooklyn, New York, in 2018; at GlogauAIR in Berlin, Germany in 2018; Espaço Cultural Armazém, Florianópolis, Brazil, 2017, and Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences in Dillard, USA, 2013.

Vaitsman was an invited speaker at the XII Post Gradual Research Symposium in Visual Art, UDESC, Brazil, 2017; a visiting scholar for six months at Parsons, New York, USA, 2016; presented at the Second World Ayahuasca Conference in UFAC, Brazil, 2016, and a Walthall Fellowship speaker for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, in 2014.

Selected citings and publications include in F. Goudel, Ilhas, rios, aeroportos e fantasmas: a metaviagem de Marcia Vaitsman, Florianópolis, (in print), 2017; C. Fox, The year in review: In an economic drought, Atlanta’s art “tree” flourishes and blooms, Atlanta Art Now, 2011; J. Cullum, Vaitsman’s ‘Study of Strange Things’ Taps into a Personal Mythology, Burnaway, Atlanta, 2011; C. Lynch, Marcia Vaitsman at Solomon Projects, in Incompletely Wrong, Atlanta, 2011; R. Stalker, Marcia Vaitsman’s delightfully eerie “Study of Strange Things, in ArtsATL, 2011; Trans Posição Francisco, Annablume, São Paulo, Brazil, 2009, (author) and How to Break Up with Yourself, Atlanta, USA. (catalog), 2009.

Marcia Vaitsman homepage