For artists Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães (the latter, a six-times PIPA Prize nominee), the kind of history that matters the most is “minor history”— historical footnotes and rumors many times subtracted from the official historiography. The interest guides their work in progress “Studies for a Minor History of Trembling Matter”, which premiered in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery last Saturday, February 18th and will be discussed on Friday, March 3rd, in an open talk with both the artists and Jasmine Magaña, Albright-Knox Curatorial Assistant.
Composed by three medium-footage videos, the work focuses on the artist duo’s research in Palmelo, a small town in the Brazilian Mid-West where half of its inhabitants believe themselves to spirit mediums. According to the show’s curatorial text, “in contrast with a Western culture that idealizes individualism, their practices are a radically collective endeavor that may share as-yet-undiscovered connections with the longer history of shamanism in Latin America”.
“Studies for a Minor History of Trembling Matter”—which will also be screened in LACMA’s “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA” show later this year—is not, however, the only product of the duo’s experience in Palmelo so far. “Captain Gervasio’s Family” (2013-2014), a 14-minute black-and-white film which juxtaposes some of the mediums’ healing rituals and practices and details of modernist buildings in Brazil, can also be seen at the Baltimore Museum of Art until June.
“Studies for a Minor History of Trembling Matter”, solo show by Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj
On view from February 18th to June 18th, 2017