Throughout her practice Juliana Pivato analogizes the unstable relationship between words and meanings, content and materials. Equating object-making with writing, art with text, and memory with performance, she specializes in rendering explicit the evasive emotional underpinnings of conceptual art, and renders its psychological complexities legible. Endurance is both an important idea as well as quality for her, which she uses to clarify her own apprehension; and insinuate that the time-based nature of art making is an important forum for discussion, and not just a necessity of experience.
In all of the media to which she turns her hand, Pivato’s art functions in such a way as to maintain its carefully balanced tragicomic identity; in which meaning is generated by a deferral of our expectations, as well as by a gratification of our need to find beauty in the artistic experience in order to engage with its content. With surgical skill she weaves and welds together the aspects of our engagement with her work, and confronts us at every turn with something clear and durable where we expect abstraction; and something touchingly personal where we may have thought to find the usual cold decorum and distance of a bare concept.
In each piece she sets down and completes a part of the expressive hum she seeks. Drawing by inventing words, in her videos she sings so as to focus our attention on minutely linear differences between moments of sound, in a way that recalls mark-making. Her interest in sound is an important component everywhere in her work, and her self-evident musicality is precisely parallel to the open-ended nature of her drawing; both in her strictly two-dimensional works on paper, and in three dimensions, where her handling of bronze invests an ironically bittersweet edge into one of history’s most venerated sculptural materials.