I woke up from a strange, glitzy dream.


An avalanche of images
softly drilling my eyeballs.



I no longer felt human.

I kept searching for myself around this strange room

— a purple dream

— but there was no sign of flesh or voice anymore.


Just thoughts
coming and vanishing from my imaginary head.


I suddenly starred
in a mirror — a sharp, clear one — and there I was.

I was just an image

trapped in a glass display.

A face in despair:

was it still me?



Despina 2020-21

What is originality nowadays? We are daily bombarded by images coming from smartphones, televisions, advertisements and screens of all sorts. It is a tiring world of visual stimulation: a non- stop simulator of colors, smoke and sounds.

Ana Bial’s Vitrine is a proposition derived from her period in residence at Despina, in Rio de Janeiro, in the begginning of 2020.  In this web-specific show, the artist combines both paintings done during this time as well as images taken from different sources around the Internet. Together, paintings and random imagerie complement each other (re)creating the peculiar universe of jewelry shop’s glass showcases. 

Vitrine seems to both reflect and poke fun at a world of constant change and attention despair. The images here — paintings, internet pixels, found-footage junk of all natures — play with painting’s aura of uniqueness. What is it to depict the reflection of an image of an image of an image? The works here seem to question us: what is an image in a world where everything is a copy — what is an invention, afterall?