(New York, USA)
It took Paulo Nazareth six and a half months, almost 500 miles and losing 15 pounds to get to New York. The Herculean effort was part of the “Notícias de América” (“News from America”) project, which, developed in 2011 by the winner of the last edition of PIPA Prize, consisted in going, by foot or hitchhiking, from Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, in the Brazilian South-East, all the way to the Big Apple. Six years later, the artist plans on crossing once more the Mexican border with the United States. Again, by foot: Nazareth made a “spiritual agreement” never to enter the country by plane.
The purpose of the trip is not leisure: Nazareth will be staying in New York for the next three months in a residency at Residency Unlimited, part of his award as winner of the two main categories (PIPA and Popular Vote Exhibition) of PIPA Prize 2016. A native “trecheiro”, as he says – the word means “traveler”, designating those who go from one stretch (“trecho”, in Brazilian Portuguese) to the next –, this time Nazareth will be facing yet another challenge besides the distance: under Trump administration, the artist may have difficulties entering American territory.
– We’re looking forward to knowing whether he’ll have any issues at the border, as we know Immigration has stiffened since January – comments Lucrecia Vinhaes, PIPA Prize Coordinator.
Either way, the risk is necessary. After all, part of Nazareth’s lure is his ability in turning himself into works of art, be it by using his own figure in photographic projects or by literally selling his image as an “exotic man” (see the “Notícias de América” series below) – Nazareth even has a notarized document stating that everything he does is art. The artist is expected for his first meeting with the Residency Unlimited team this Sunday, May 7th. The America he’ll be confronting, whether in the Mexican border or in his day-by-day, is way different from that which he knew in 2011.
One step, then the next. Paulo Nazareth will keep on walking.
See below some of the works from the series “Notícias de América”, by PIPA Prize 2016 Winner Paulo Nazareth.
Keep tuned for Paulo Nazareth‘s latest “news from America”: in an exclusive video for PIPA Prize, he’ll be telling all about his first days in New York and his experience at the Residency Unlimited programme.