Despite its physical absence, the body, in the practice of Isabel Cordovil (1994, Lisbon), operates as a principal subject. It is a mediator between the self and the external world, a measuring device, allowing for quantifying data collected to explore themes tied to (gender) identity and the self. Taking personal narratives as a point of departure for many of her works, the body in Cordovil’s practice operates frequently as a site of political discourse, struggle, and regulation. References to diverse fields of power and hierarchy, to the passage of time, to life and death, and specifically to the idea of finitty pervade her work. Using a poetic language of playful metaphor and visual disobedience, Cordovil’s emancipatory practice, including sculpture, photography, and film, resurrects the body from centuries of standardization and hierarchization while searching for new ways of belonging and a celebration of otherness.
Isabel Cordovil has completed her studies at Central Saint Martins, University of Arts, London and HEAD Geneva University of Art and Design, Geneva, Switzerland. Exhibitions of her work include Culturgest, Porto, Portugal; MACE, Elvas, Portugal; Lievre, Basel, Switzerland, and Appleton Box, Lisbon. Her films have been screened at Doclisboa and Queer Lisboa and are included in the Coleção de Arte Contemporânea do Estado, Lisbon; Coleção António Cachola, Elvas; Coleção Norlinda e José Lima, S. João da Madeira, Portugal and Coleção Santander Artistas Emergentes, Lisbon. In 2024, Isabel Cordovil will participate in a residency at Residency Unlimited, New York.