Daniela Paes Leão (b. Coimbra, 1974) works across film, photography, drawing, performance, print and new media to create the perfect circumstances for a meaningful confrontation with others to get to the core of a present, oftentimes political or social, issue. Her practise often involves collaboration, working with various communities or social groups and individuals across different disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and political sciences to satisfy a natural curiosity about the underlying reasons for a particular social circumstance. Paes Leão’s work has developed from a more personal and intimate practice to a more abstract and theoretical investigation of social issues. Her current work interplays with both elements.
Daniela Paes Leão graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Porto. Paes Leão has been an artist in residence at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervillies (Paris), The Blue House (Amsterdam), Arting Jerusalem (Jerusalem) and Fondazione Pistoletto (Biela). Her work has been exhibited internationally at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennial, Guimarães – European Capital of Cultural 2012, Tate Britain (London), the South London Gallery (London), Cube Project Space (Taipei), Miami Art Fair (Miami) and W139 (Amsterdam) among others. She has received grants from inter alia the European Cultural Foundation, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, the Mondriaan Fund, DOEN Foundation and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. Paes Leão currently lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
“My work is a constantly changing form that takes me from one context to another, a continuous journey to the experience and perspectives of people from many cultures. I have explored many stances from active, word embodying performance to introspective cultural witness… Each work that I have done has created different results. For me it is not so important the format but the content of the work self. The medium is a communicative tool, reflective of its subject. It is a question raising process, that does not result in any final conclusion, but increasingly defined questions, about our cultural differences, the world we live in as a whole rather than fragmented distances between ourselves and the other.”