Curator of the “¡Mira!” project, which aims to promote and stimulate indigenous contemporary art production, Maria Inês de Almeida took part in the Nominating Committee last year. This was the first PIPA Prize edition to award two indigenous artists, both in the PIPA Online category: in first place, Jaider Esbell, and, in second, Arissana Pataxó.
In this exclusive interview, Almeida talks about the project which, founded in 2013, has already introduced 52 artists of indigenous backgrounds to the urban art world. Its name,“¡Mira!”, originates in the hallucinations provoked by consumption of Ayahuasca, used in ritualistic contexts in many Latin American tribes—mirar means “to see” in Spanish.
According to Maria Inês, indigenous people have been doing for ages what only nowadays is accepted as “contemporary art”: “The occidental art is finally closer to them.” She finishes the interview by stating that, to these artists, art is far from being just “something you could hang on your wall”: “They are selling a story, which people are taking home. Those mythical figures will be entering that person’s life,” she says. “The exchange is real.”
Watch below an interview by with the curator of “¡Mira!” project and PIPA Prize 2016 Nominating Committee member, Maria Inês de Almeida.
The announcement of the Nominating Committee members of PIPA Prize 2017 will be published on February 10th. Stay tuned.