The book ...Umas […Some] begins before I existed. First of all, because of the artist's own connection with the newspaper: Lenora de Barros worked for many years behind the production of magazines and newspapers, artistically thinking the process of some of the main publications that still circulate in Brazil. The newspaper Folha de São Paulo, as it is known today, also has a lot of her touch.
Between 1993 and 1996, invited by Jornal da Tarde newspaper (currently Estado de São Paulo), Lenora kept her own column. Through this weekly participation, the artist experimented with several formats and languages that unfolded in some of her best-known works. Hence, we see the relevance of the column for having documented not only the artist’s own work but also the poetic connection between her creation and the work of several artists who influenced her. Lenora related her artistic vision to the news, discussing body, subjectivity, philosophy, and feminism. It was an open studio, right in the core of the paper, the most important source of printed information in those years.
Almost 20 years later, Lenora meets Maria Lago, founder of FAMILIA EDITIONS. The way the two describe a sudden shared intimacy is what I see as the driving force for the existence of this book. Thus, Maria manifested her interest in working with Lenora, and I, as the artist's assistant, had the privilege of following closely this process. A curious fact is that the book was made in the pre-pandemic period, remotely, but with the delicacy of this intimacy.
Maria initially lived in New York, then in Madrid, while we were in São Paulo. With some occasional visits to the studio in order to handle carefully the columns, the editing was decided together - the decisions that needed to be done face to face. All the other aspects, the choice of paper, the format, the string that wraps the book, were conceived with an ocean between us, but it was not a big deal, since Maria, a great navigator in the sea of books, guided us to dream the same pages.
The translation process is also an example of work done in a “familiar” way. Every week, Davi Jaffe and Lenora sat side by side to discuss translation proposals and together we decided on the best interpretation solutions. All those who participated in the creation of this book-object were chosen because of this “family” affinity, which allowed the process to flow in a pleasant and assertive way. In a mutual trust, almost as if one could guess the other's thoughts.
The singularity, the closeness, and the tender generational exchange are rare in a world where the worker becomes a replaceable object. In this project, the making is in the people, and the product is a collective and generous expression of the time.