(New York, USA)
Paulo Nazareth literally crossed, about a month ago, the United States border from Mexico to start his three-month stay at Residency Unlimited, New York, as part of his PIPA Prize 2016 award – in the last edition of the Prize, the artist won both the main category, as well as PIPA Prize Popular Vote Exhibition. One month later, he discusses his experiences (both in life and in art) since arriving in “On the Possibility of Dwelling in New York”, conversation between the artist and Claudia Calirman, Associate Professor of Art History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) that takes place this Friday, June 23rd, at Mendes Wood DM‘s space in New York, Hic Svnt Dracones.
Famous for his walk-performances since “Notícias de América” (“News from America”) – in which he walked from his mother’s kitchen in Palmital, in the Brazilian Southeast, all the way to New York – , in R.U. Nazareth develops a project with a similar methodology, “Cadernos de África” (“African Notebook”). The work represents a vast attempt to trace the legacy of the African diaspora by circling outwards throughout the Americas and the African continent.
Through the gesture of walking, Nazareth attempts to bring the complexity of the world towards simplicity, never generalizing, but always taking time to show things as they are – nuanced but not cacophonous. They function as a slow, real-time inquiry into his own experience and the experiences of the individuals he encounters along the way, tracing a subtle matrix of connections that bridge not only people but communities and shared histories.
In terms of themes, his subjects are often related to race, ideology and the unequal distribution of development. His practice is underpinned by a categorical vision of ethical life itself – one which puts in relief the affective ties between individual life and collective life, this moment and the next, the particular and the universal. As such, Nazareth seeks to embody the idea of the artist as a connector, a decoder and a philosopher.
Keep tuned for Paulo Nazareth‘s latest “news from America”: in an exclusive video for PIPA Prize, he’ll be telling all about his experience in New York and his experience at the Residency Unlimited programme.