Rosângela Rennó’s work is characterized by appropriating newspapers, old family albums, slides, discarded images found in flea markets, archives or dead files. Interested in “how the system systematically tries to erase the links to the past”, she wants to make visible society’s anonymous and overlooked protagonists who, in vernacular photographs, often express far more about the human condition than photographs with an artistic intent. Distinguished by her innovative, politically charged presentations, she appropriates and transforms archival photographic material into larger compositions, often in the form of installations or photographic books. Her work is a systematic investigation of time and of the relation between memory and forgetfulness, also visible in the social and psychological changes that transform reminiscence. She plays with the imperfection of memory and photography, both of which are fragmentary and approximate lived experience.
Rennó has taken part in numerous international manifestation such as 3rd Beijing Photo Biennal, Video Brasil (2018), 23rd Photobiennale Festival, Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece (2018), BIENALSUR, Buenos Aires (2017-2019), Triennial of Paris (2012), 4th Moscow Biennale (2011), 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), Biennials in Sao Paulo (1994-1998-2010) and 50th Venice Biennale – Padiglione Brasile (2003), 2nd Berlin Biennale (2001).
Her work has been presented recently in international institution including the MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York (2023), Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (2020), Jeu de Paume, Paris (2020), Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore (2019), Museu de arte Moderna de São Paulo (2013-2016-2019), Griffith University Art Museum, Australia (2018), Centre Pompidou (2010-2015), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2014),Fondation Cartier, Paris (2014), Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University (2014), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2013), Maison Européenne de la Photo, Paris (2012), Foundation Calouste Gubenkian, Lisbon (2012), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2012), Tate Liverpool (2011), Fundacion/Coleccion Jumex, Mexico (2010), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), Centre de la photographie, Genève (2010).
Her work forms part of many international museum collections: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Colección Cisneros, Caracas / New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Tate Modern, London; MoMA, New York; Daros Latin America, Zurich; Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim CACI, Belo Horizonte; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo.