Leonor Parda
Self-will Run Riot
24.03.2023 - 02.06.2023

Mala has the pleasure to present Self-will Run Riot, Leonor Parda's first solo exhibition at our space in Lisbon.
Leonor Parda is an artist and community organizer based in Porto. Her practice is confrontational, violent and vindicatory and seeks to explore "the opening that separates things from themselves, a crack in reality, as a space to imagine new political, social and aesthetic possibilities."  The artist uses her work as a political way of inhabiting the world and as such does not propose solutions - she seeks to instigate fires and tear down walls. Leonor describes her imagery not as an alternative to existence but an alternative existence in which she reserves the right to say what she pleases and contradict herself. Her work is romantic and passionate. She produces precarious sculptures and installations, mostly with found objects - driven by wandering, accumulation, altered states, and the effervescence and ebullience that runs inside herself.
At Mala, Leonor Parda developed an installation composed of staggering sculptural elements, which presents itself as a hybrid and contradictory space: is it a safe-space, a hedonistic space or a torture chamber? Self-will Run Riot provokes voyeuristic potentials at Mala, which through the glass window confronts the public gaze from the outside, through the intimidating objects that belong to the private realm.
At the center of the space there are precarious, improvised machines, built spontaneously and intuitively. Love Fools (2023), come close to the vocabulary of BDSM, as spanking chairs on wheels, and Now I wanna be your doggy dog (2023) to a restraining bar, or perhaps another instrument of torture. In this set of works, Leonor suggests a dichotomous exploration of pain and pleasure, submission and domination, objects that for some, contain and restrict, for others, liberate. On the walls, two metal plates, deburred and welded, present a collection of images from the artist's archive. "The images appear in photographic friezes (...) they are placed in dialogue and appear regularly blurred, overexposed or underexposed. As an observation on the permanent change, movement and resistance of our bodies. If the recurrent use of concrete appears as an attempt to capture and retain fleeting time for a few moments, the environments created by Leonor relentlessly evoke a past or future movement. They are shot through with an anger and a fury to live, an irresistible thirst to embrace life in its entirety, both with its good sides and its desperate, melancholic moments." (Isabelle Henrion, in artistesenresidence.fr)
Self-will is a riot, Leonor is revolution.

Leonor Parda (1986, Porto) lives and works in Porto. She graduated in Installation and Performance ERG, in Brussels, and completed a Master in Contemporary Art Practices at FBAUP,  Porto.
Recent exhibitions include Skeletal architecture, In extenso, Clermont-Ferrand; Visions of Demons; Maus Hábitos, Porto; PACTO, Galeria Municipal de Almada, Almada; Meia pensão, Galeria do Sol, Porto in 2022. She participated in the cross residency Maus Hábitos/Artistes en résidence, in Porto and Clermont-Ferrand in 2022. Leonor is an organizer and cultural agitator at A Leste, a collective experimentation space in Bonfim, Porto

This exhibition was supported by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Photo: Beatriz Pereira, Courtesy of Mala and the artist.